Bloomberg News

Dimon Is Open to Acquisition Even If U.S. Approval Uncertain

January 10, 2012

(Updates with Dimon comment in last paragraph.)

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he would be willing to attempt a takeover of another U.S. lender even if regulators weren’t likely to approve.

“We would probably be willing to do something even if we might end up with some egg in our face,” so long as the deal’s price is attractive, said Dimon, 55, whose New York-based company acquired Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns Cos. in 2008. JPMorgan is already the nation’s largest bank with $2.3 trillion in assets and is pushing up against rules that blocks banks from controlling more than 10 percent of all deposits in the U.S.

It would be “very hard” for the company to acquire a failing institution in Europe, Dimon said today at a JPMorgan health-care conference in San Francisco. It would be a “catastrophe” if there was a disorderly breakup of the European Union, he said.

“If it made a lot of sense, I’d go to the board and we would have a conversation to see if it’s worth taking the political risk,” Dimon said in an interview today with CNBC.

--Editors: David Scheer, Peter Eichenbaum

To contact the reporters on this story: Dawn Kopecki in New York at dkopecki@bloomberg.net; Robert Langreth in New York at rlangreth@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net


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