Showdown in Midtown! Lawsuit Takes Bear Stearns to Task Over 383 Madison

JPMorgan Chase’s takeover of one-time investment giant Bear Stearns just got that much messier.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that 383 Madison LLC, the owner of the land on which Bear Stearns built its headquarters at 383 Madison Avenue, is suing Bear Stearns for violating a written agreement that allows the LLC to get first dibs on the building in the event of a sale:

“At no time did Bear Stearns even attempt to honor its contractual duties to plaintiff, which would have required providing plaintiff with notice of the potential agreement with JPMorgan and engaging in negotiations with plaintiff relating to the purchase of the building,” the lawsuit said.

…383 Madison LLC says the fair market value of the building exceeds $1.1 billion and it should be able to purchase the building for the same price J.P. Morgan Chase would pay.

JPMorgan Chase is also named in the lawsuit, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

A spokesman for JPMorgan said the suit had “no merit.” A Bear Stearns spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Read about the brouhaha here.

Showdown in Midtown! Lawsuit Takes Bear Stearns to Task Over 383 Madison