Wells Fargo & Co. on Tuesday priced a stock offering of $10.65 billion that is intended to help it repay $25 billion in government support. The banking company said it could raise more capital to avoid selling nonstrategic assets.
The stock issue priced 426 million shares at $25 each. Wells agreed a day earlier to raise at least $10.4 billion in new capital as part of a deal with regulators to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Wells said Tuesday during a conference call with investors that it could raise an additional $1.56 billion as one way of meeting additional government demands. It agreed to either sell $1.5 billion of assets by the end of 2010 or raise an additional $1.5 billion of capital. If it chooses to sell assets, they will not be strategic businesses, Chief Executive John Stumpf said Tuesday.
The San Francisco company also said it will use the capital plan to resolve an outstanding obligation tied to its purchase of Wachovia Corp. last year. When Wells agreed to buy Wachovia in 2008, Wachovia already had in place a joint venture with Prudential Financial Inc. that included a securities brokerage.
Wachovia agreed that Prudential could sell its minority interest in the venture to Wachovia by Jan. 1, 2010, and in June, Prudential said it would exercise that right.
Wells has not yet disclosed the value of that interest in the venture, but it said previously that it would pay Prudential with some undetermined combination of cash and Wells Fargo stock, which could dilute investors. But on Tuesday, Wells said it would pay cash.
"This was the most shareholder-friendly way, we believe, that we could do this," Stumpf said.