Early Briefing: Who Gets Wachovia?
Wachovia, Wells Fargo and Citigroup have suspended their courtroom squabbles until noon today to try to negotiate a settlement of Wachovia's future -- a future that will determine the shape of Washington's largest bank.
The sides agreed to the truce under pressure from the Federal Reserve, which is eager for Wells Fargo and Citigroup to resolve their rival bids for control of the North Carolina bank. The extraordinary fight is unfolding amid general financial anxiety, and regulators want to avoid prolonged uncertainty about three of the nation's largest banks.
Citigroup agreed to buy most of Wachovia for about $2 billion early last week in a rescue orchestrated by federal regulators. Days later, Wells Fargo agreed to buy all of Wachovia for about $15 billion. Wachovia accepted the Wells Fargo deal because it appeared to be more lucrative for shareholders and would allow the company to be swallowed whole.
In other news:
* Bill Me Later of Timonion, north of Baltimore, is being acquired by eBay for $945 million and will be folded into the auction site's PayPal service.
* Mars of McLean closes its $23 billion deal to acquire Wrigley.
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