CompuCredit Corp. announced an agreement to purchase an auto lending and servicing unit of Wells Fargo Financial, the consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co., and hire substantially all of its employees. The Consumer Auto Receivables unit had approximately $133 million in assets. It operates in 40 states through its 12 branches. The two parties did not disclose terms of the sale, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005. Wells Fargo will retain its Philadelphia-based Wells Fargo Financial Acceptance business unit, which has more than $8 billion in receivables.

"This sale represents less than 2 percent of our overall auto-lending receivables and allows us to focus on our core auto-lending businesses," said Tom Shippee, Wells Fargo Financial president and chief executive officer.

"Our core business of providing account acquisition and servicing programs designed to improve automotive dealers' cash flow will represent a new market for CompuCredit," said Richard Potter, president of Consumer Auto Receivables.

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