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Report: Wachovia to get billions in new capital

/ Source: The Associated Press

Wachovia Corp. on Sunday was hammering out the final terms of a deal that would provide a capital infusion of several billion dollars from outside investors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The deal could be announced as soon as Monday, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter whom it did not name.

Wachovia, the fifth-largest U.S. bank by market capitalization, would receive $6 billion to $7 billion, the Journal said. In return, the investor group would get shares priced at roughly $23 to $24 apiece — about a 15 percent discount to Wachovia’s closing share price Friday of $27.81. The shares have plummeted 48 percent in the past year.

According to people familiar with the situation, Wachovia’s deal is similar in structure to the $7 billion in new capital Washington Mutual Inc. obtained last week from an investment group led by private equity group TPG.

Officials at Wachovia could not immediately be reached for comment. However, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank released a statement late Sunday saying it would release its first-quarter financial results Monday morning. The company previously had been expected to announce the results this Friday.

The trouble at Wachovia stems largely from its 2006 acquisition of California-based mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corp. for about $24 billion. Golden West’s loans were concentrated in California, one the hardest-hit housing markets in the U.S.

In last year’s fourth quarter, Wachovia’s net income plunged 98 percent due to a $1.7 billion write-down of some holdings — primarily assets backed by subprime mortgages — and $1.5 billion set aside to cover bad loans.