Dick Kovacevich: "I feel like a kid in a candy store"

Wells Fargo Chairman eyes possible acquisitions


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept 17 (Reuters) - The chairman of the No. 2 U.S. mortgage bank said on Wednesday that his company was "buying with both hands" and, given the distressed state of financial assets, he felt "like a kid in a candy store."

Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chairman Richard Kovacevich declined to comment to Reuters at a conference in Beverly Hills, California, on whether the company is interested in buying Washington Mutual Inc (WM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or Wachovia Corp (WB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) but indicated he was interested in buying other banks in distress.

"Wells Fargo often buys fixer uppers," companies that have had some hard knocks and can be rehabilitated in two or three years, he said in a speech at the Association of Corporate Growth 2008 conference. "Given the financial conditions today I feel like a kid in a candy store. There is a lot out there today."

Comment: My brush with Dick Kovacevich. He was in Minneapolis and was walking across the street to the Federal Reserve (the older building). I used to park on the street across from the Fed. He stepped in front of my car as I was parking and put out his hand and touched my hood as if to signal "stop". (I'll probably get fired for this!)

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