Citi May Seek to Recover Wachovia Deal

Bank could make a better offer; may sue Wells Fargo
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2008 9:05 AM CDT
Citi May Seek to Recover Wachovia Deal
A Wachovia bank, foreground, is shown across the street from a Wells Fargo Bank, background, in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. A battle broke out for control of Wachovia Friday as Wells Fargo signed a $15.1 billion agreement to buy the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, while Citigroup and the...   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

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.
(More Citigroup stories.)

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