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.

By Dan Beyers  |  October 7, 2008; 6:56 AM ET
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Comments

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I believe the Wells Fargo,Citi truce is until noon Oct 8th....

Posted by: DPG | October 7, 2008 4:30 PM

What about the employees?

Posted by: worried | October 7, 2008 4:44 PM

Wells Fargo is a good strong bank and basically has made some good decisions in light of the economy. Wells Fargo needs some presence on the east coast. With the Wells Merger there would be no need for FDIC assistance and taxpayer assistance, with Citi, they are relying on the FDIC.

Posted by: Anna | October 7, 2008 6:06 PM

I believe that in the best interest of the depositors. shareholders and investors of Wachovia, it might be worthwhile looking into LETTING THEM PUT TO VOTE who they believe can best run the bank (CITI or WELLS FARGO. We are all currently facing the crisis---now is no longer the time for litigations. The offer of WELLS FARGO to purchase Wachovia in its entirety makes everything less complicated. I am pretty much sure, CITI can still find other banks to acquire. Who knows banks like Suntrust might be up for grabs.

Posted by: Rose | October 7, 2008 6:15 PM

As a wachovia securities customer, this uncertainty is not helpful and has my family looking around for other places to put our money. Only thing I can figure is that Citi needs the deposits to fund itself and so the regulators are trying to fix two weak links. but it seems surreal to me to divide WB up and have a whole lot of managements focused on an ungainly integration instead of on weathering this crisis. The whole thing is hard enough to swallow, but everything should be done to make a smoothe transition.

Posted by: customer | October 7, 2008 7:01 PM

I work for Wells Fargo Financial and as a Team Member, I & many others in our area have been hoping and praying for a Wells Fargo Bank to open up on the East Coast! WFF is an amazing company and i believe that if Citigroup can't afford to purchase even a portion of Wachovia without having to use Federal Funds when Wells Fargo can aquire the company as a whole using NO Federal funds at all, then Citi should just admit defeat! After all, the decision as i understand it, was not Wells Fargo or Citi's to make... it was Wachovia that chose Wells Fargo and that is how it should stay!

Posted by: Assistant Mgr, Wells Fargo Financial | October 7, 2008 10:17 PM

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