Talk about a banking coup! Just last week we thought that Citi would wind up as the winner of the Wachovia banking sweepstakes . . . fast forward to this morning, and it looks like Wells Fargo’s bid, which is over 7 times that of Citi – a whopping $15.1 billion, is going to help to create Wells Fargo Wachovia, the largest retail bank in the country.
According to the Columbus Business Journal:
San Francisco-based Well Fargo (NYSE:WFC), whose home mortgage division runs three branches in Central Ohio, said Friday it intends to buy all operations of Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia with no need for financial assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or other government agencies.
Wells Fargo expects the combination would be profitable in its first year, excluding integration costs, write-downs, transaction charges and additions to its credit reserves. The company expects to incur merger and integration charges of about $10 billion. The bank plans to issue up to $20 billion of new Wells Fargo securities, primarily common stock.
The combined company would take the title of the largest coast-to-coast retail bank in the U.S. away from Wachovia’s crosstown rival Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), which has $701.5 billion in domestic deposits. The merger would create a bank with $1.42 trillion in assets, $787 billion in deposits and a customer base of 48 million and nearly 11,000 branches.
What are your thoughts? Who will end up owning Wachovia?