Federal antitrust regulators cleared Wells Fargo's $11.7 billion acquisition of Wachovia Corp. today, capping a weeklong battle for the Charlotte, NC-based bank. The rapid approval comes a day after Citigroup walked away from its acquisition effort. Citigroup plans to seek $60 billion in damages for breach of contract but has decided not to challenge the Wells Fargo-Wachovia deal in court, the AP reports.
Citigroup agreed last week to an FDIC-brokered deal to buy Wachovia's banking operations for $2.1 billion. Four days later, Wells Fargo stunned Citigroup by announcing that Wachovia's board had agreed to an $11.7 billion all-stock offer. Originally, the deal was valued at $15.1 billion, or $7 a share, but Wells Fargo stock has declined since it was announced.