Apollo, Blackstone Said in Talks to Buy Wells’ Student Loan Book

A group that includes private equity firms Apollo Global Management Inc. and Blackstone Group Inc. is in talks to acquire Wells Fargo & Co.’s student loan portfolio, according to people familiar with the matter.

The parties could reach a deal within weeks, said one of the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. A final decision hasn’t been made and discussions could still fall through, the people said.

The loans, whose borrowers have an average FICO score of 768, rank as high quality and would be serviced by Nelnet Inc., the student loan servicing firm, one of the people said.

It isn’t clear how much the portfolio will fetch in a sale. It includes about $10 billion in student loans, a person familiar with the matter said in October.

Representatives for Apollo, Blackstone and Wells Fargo declined to comment.

The potential sale comes as Wells Fargo pares down its assets after years of scandals. It’s also been exploring a sale of its corporate trust, asset management and private-label credit cards businesses, Bloomberg News has reported.

The bank said in an earnings call in October that it was exiting the student loans business.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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