Wells Fargo warrant sale earns Treasury $840m

26 May 2010

The sale of warrants belonging to Wells Fargo has led to the government’s US Treasury Department earning $840 million.

According to the authorities, the 110 million warrants were priced at $7.70 each with the funds being used to recoup some of the costs incurred by the bank following its reliance upon the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Wells Fargo acquired 70.2 million of the warrants on offer, the equivalent of almost two-thirds of the available shares.

Howard Atkins, chief financial officer, said: “We believe avoiding future shareholder dilution by acquiring these warrants at this price is a compelling investment for our shareholders.”

Wells Fargo issued the warrants to the government when it borrowed $25 billion through TARP in October 2008, arguably one of the most critical points in the global financial crisis.

The full sum of financial aid was repaid to the government in December of last year.

Earlier in the year, the sale of warrants belonging to Bank of America generated $1.57 billion for the US Treasury.

By Jim Ottewill

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