Wells Fargo will buy struggling bank Wachovia in a $15.4 billion takeover, reports the Wall Street Journal. The deal was announced today and comes just days after Wachovia had reached an agreement to sell its banking operations to Citigroup. The Wells Fargo purchase requires no government assistance, and the San Francisco bank will buy 100% of Wachovia, while Citigroup only wanted a fraction.
Wells Fargo had said on Sunday that it would not be purchasing Wachovia, setting off a government-brokered shotgun wedding between the Charlotte lender and Citigroup. But then the board changed its tune, offering $7 a share, 79% above Wachovia's Thursday afternoon closing prize. Since then shares in Wachovia have surged premarket by 64%, while Citigroup stock has declined.