JPMorgan Sued Over Bear Stearns HQ Building

An entity called 383 Madison L.L.C. has filed suit against Bear Stearns & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., asserting that it owns the land on which Bear Stearns’ New York City headquarters stands, and that it has the right to make the first offer to buy the building. The suit was filed in New York State Supreme Court yesterday, according to various media reports. When JPMorgan offered to acquire Bear Stearns, the deal included an option to buy the Bear Stearns building for $1.1 billion, regardless of whether the acquisition went through. Now JPMorgan plans to move its investment banking division into the Bear Stearns headquarters after its takeover of the troubled investment bank is complete. 383 Madison, measuring about 1.1 million square feet on 45 floors, occupies prime Midtown Manhattan real estate. The suit claims that JPMorgan wrongfully induced Bear Stearns “to breach the Ground Lease and the Right of first offer for its own personal gain.” According to 383 Madison L.L.C., it should be able to buy the building for the same price as JPMorgan. Neither JPMorgan and Bear Stearns could not be reached for comment this morning.