This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Christopher Flowers Finds the Bloom May Be Off

Flowers still has a relatively low profile in the U.S., and is perhaps more known for deals he hasn't done than ones he has. According to a person close to J.C. Flowers & Co., the firm has eyed investments in AIG, Washington Mutual and National City in the last 18 months, in addition to a bid it made for Bear Stearns that has been widely reported .

The firm also considered investing in Lehman Brothers on three separate occasions, before offering to buy it just prior to its bankruptcy filing in a joint bid with Bank of America that was rejected by the government. And the firm looked at Merrill several times over the year, but never made an offer.

Choosing not to bid on a financial company, or being outbid, has in general been far better than being the winning bidder over the last year. Another private equity firm, Texas Pacific Group, had a $2 billion investment in Washington Mutual sour, and Bank of America's (BAC) purchase of Merrill Lynch has sent the Charlotte, N.C., bank into the arms of the federal government.

However, on what is probably Flowers' highest-profile near-miss, he was saved from another disastrous investment only by rejection. After getting out of an agreement to buy Sallie Mae (SLM) for $60 a share in 2007, Flowers made a revised bid of $50 a share that would now be down by more than 80% if the student lender hadn't walked away.

These near-misses aren't totally painless for Flowers' investors, as they still end up paying related fees to accountants, lawyers and other consultants used in conducting due diligence on the deals. One prospective investor cited that wasted money as a reason for his decision not to invest with Flowers.

5 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs