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Wells Fargo and Wachovia Merger Complete

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) announced Thursday the completion of its merger with Wachovia Corp., resulting in a monstrous distribution system for financial services with 1.4 trillion in assets and 11,000 stores nationwide servicing 48 million banking households and employing 276,000 employees. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve approved the merger in mid-October following a debacle between Citigroup Inc. (C) and Wells Fargo over which suitor would acquire Wachovia's banking operations -- Citi pulled out of talks after four days of discussion on splitting Wachovia's assets. As of Thursday, customers of Wells Fargo and Wachovia were granted access to use all the company's 12,260 combined automated teller machines. Pat Callahan, an executive vice president and head of the Company's merger transition, said Wachovia customers will continue to see the Wachovia brand in their banking stores and communities for the near future. "The key to a successful integration will be our ability to provide outstanding customer service throughout the integration," said Callahan. "So we're going to take our time and do this right. Wells Fargo and Wachovia customers should continue banking as they do today..." At closing, Wells Fargo acquired all outstanding shares of common stock of Wachovia in a stock-for-stock transaction. Wachovia shareholders received 0.1991 shares of Wells Fargo common stock in exchange for each share of Wachovia common stock they owned. Shares of each outstanding series of Wachovia preferred stock were converted into shares or fractional shares of a corresponding series Wells Fargo preferred stock, having substantially the same rights and preferences, Wells Fargo said in a press statement. With Wachovia, Wells Fargo for the first time has a Community Banking presence in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington D.C. Write to Kelly Curran at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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