Wells Fargo said early Friday that it would merge with Wachovia — including the troubled Charlotte bank’s banking operations — in a $15.1 billion all-stock merger.
The announcement comes only four days after Citigroup agreed to buy Wachovia’s retail banking operations for about $1 a share, at the government’s behest and with a guarantee to absorb most of the losses on Wachovia’s massive loan portfolio. That deal would have left Wachovia with only its securities and retail brokerage.
Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco and considered one of the strongest banks amid the market turmoil, said that the deal requires no assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. It will raise up to $20 billion by issuing new shares, primarily common stock.