Report: KKR and JC Flowers considered bid for Bear Stearns

The private equity firms reportedly considered bidding for the beleaguered investment bank, but were ultimately uninterested or unable to put together a deal in time to compete with JPMorgan.

JC Flowers and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts were reportedly among Bear Stearns' possible suitors before JPMorgan successfully reached an agreement Sunday with the sinking investment bank.

Both private equity heavyweights, as well as Barclays and the Royal Bank of Canada, were unable to put together a deal by late Sunday, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail said it was the Royal Bank of Scotland, not the Royal Bank of Canada, that was involved. 

Details of the negotiations, including whether JC Flowers and KKR were considering a bid as part of a consortium or separately, remain opaque.

Both KKR and JC Flowers declined to comment. 

KKR co-founders Jerome Kohlberg, Henry Kravis, and George Roberts all worked with one another at Bear Stearns. It was within the investment bank where they developed their technique for doing “boot-strap” deals, subsequently spinning out to found their buyout firm in the late 1970s. Kohlberg later went on to found Kohlberg & Co.