Washington Mutual to get $5 bln from TPG, others - WSJ

lunes 7 de abril de 2008 07:11 CEST
 

NEW YORK, April 7 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm TPG and other investors are near a deal to invest $5 billion in Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N: Cotización), the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site, citing people familiar with the matter.

The other investors include large shareholders of the Seattle-based lender and may also involve other buyout firms, the Journal said, but noted that an agreement was yet to be finalized.

According to the report, the investment looks like it could be both a common- and preferred-stock offering, the report said, adding that the preferred stock could be later converted to common shares, subject to a shareholder vote.

Also, TPG is expected to get a seat on the company's board.

The U.S. government was not directly involved in shaping the deal, though banking regulators were likely made aware of WaMu's plans, the Journal said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The plan sets aside the possibility of JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N: Cotización) potentially buying Washington Mutual at least for now, the report said. JPMorgan made a preliminary offer for Washington Mutual after studying its financial state since March, but talks between the two firms stopped last week, the Journal said, quoting a person familiar with the situation.

Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan, has suffered heavy losses from the national mortgage crisis. In January, the lender said it expected to set aside as much as $2 billion for credit losses in the current quarter.

A Washington Mutual representative was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; Editing by Jan Dahinten)