Wells Gauges Interest in Stock Sale: Report - TheStreet



) --

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

is reportedly reaching out to institutional investors to gauge interest for an equity offering to repay bailout funds.

Wells is interested in selling stock in $250 million to $500 million increments, according to


, to repay a $25 billion investment by the Treasury Department. Wells also owes

Prudential Financial

(PRU) - Get Report

roughly $5 billion, which must be paid near the start of the year.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Mary Eshet said the bank did not have a comment on the



Wells Fargo's move to raise capital in the market follows the lead of

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, which raised $19.29 billion to repay TARP this week, and


(C) - Get Report

, which is widely believed to be in the process of raising at least $15 billion from investors. Other large bailout recipients like

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report


Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report


Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

repaid TARP months ago.

It's unclear how much money regulators will require Wells Fargo to raise, because its capital levels are far below peers, and the bank has been resistant to

diluting shareholders.

Wells Fargo shares were recently down 15 cents at $25.17.

-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York


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