Left hanging after Wells Fargo swooped in with a better offer to purchase Wachovia, the troubled Citigroup is mulling its options. It could attempt to sweeten its earlier bid, perhaps including pieces of the company it hadn’t agreed to take earlier—or launch a lawsuit. Citigroup may argue that Wachovia’s deal with Wells Fargo violated an “exclusivity agreement,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “This is complete misconduct,” says a Citi exec.
Citi will “continue to vigorously pursue Citigroup's interest and rights in completing this transaction,” vows CEO Vikram Pandit, who called the Wells Fargo deal “illegal.” While a suit could score some cash for Citigroup, it likely wouldn’t stop the Wells Fargo takeover plan. And if Citi can’t buy Wachovia, it could seek to acquire one of many other struggling regional banks, the Journal notes.