Wachovia Suitors Agree to Play Nice
In an announcement released mid-Monday, Wachovia Corp. (WB), Citigroup Inc. (C) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) agreed to a standstill in what is fast becoming a historic battle over Wachovia. The agreement, which was formed in consultation with the U.S. Federal Reserve, arrived after an eventful week of bickering between the banks over which suitor would buy Wachovia's banking operations. Citigroup approached Wachovia, who turned around and accepted advances from Wells Fargo and then was chastised by Citi. HW reported Monday on the continued spat, which fell just short of name-calling before an injunction was placed against Wells' acquisition. The following intervention by the Fed ended in talk of a possible Wachovia split to satisfy both Wells' and Citi's claims to a potential Wachovia deal. The dispute came to a pause Monday as the banks agreed to suspend courtroom proceedings. The banks have agreed to three terms outlined in Monday's press release: an immediate standstill of formal litigation, a cessation of formal discovery activities and an effort to "cooperate in good faith to agree among themselves." The standstill agreement expires at noon Wednesday unless steps are taken to extend it; some sources have have said they expect a split of Wachovia to be agreed upon prior to the agreement's expiration. Disclosure: The author held no relevant 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. Editor’s note: To contact the reporter on this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.