FOX Business Network (FBN) Senior Correspondent Charlie Gasparino reports that CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) Chairman and CEO John Thain is “now shopping” the firm and “looking to be acquired by a bigger bank.” Gasparino goes on to report that “Thain is looking to run a bigger firm than CIT” and this move “would put him in the catbird seat.”
On CIT CEO John Thain looking to have taihe firm “acquired by a bigger bank”:
“Thain has been itching to grow the business. Having a problem growing it. Sources close to the matter are telling the FOX Business Network that Thain is now shopping CIT. Looking to be acquired by a bigger bank…Thain is looking to run a bigger firm than CIT and that would put him in the catbird seat. You know he’s a very experienced CEO…and it would put him in the position to be what he’d want to be. A CEO of a major bank.”
Interestingly, just this morning, Stiflel Nicholas made airwave by stating that Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) should buy CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT). Stifel’s main points were that Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) does not need deposits, as it is flush with liquidity. Wells Fargo does not need additional brick and mortar, as the profitability of branches is low in such a low interest rate environment and the company already has a coast-to-coast branching net work. Wells Fargo does need earning assets at attractive yields, given the low loan growth environment and the Fed’s approach to make most every low-risk investment as unattractive as possible.
Because of this, Stifel thinks that CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) would make a financially attractive acquisition target. It would provide WFC with:
1) $35 billion in higher yielding assets that have already been marked-to-market via Fresh Start Accounting; 2) the ability to substantially improve CIT’s earnings power by replacing its higher cost of funds with WFC’s industry low cost of funds; 3) no material reduction in cash on hand given CIT’s high cash balances; and 4) no meaningfully negative impact to the company’s Tier 1 common capital ratio.
(Disclosure: Long WFC)