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Wells makes play for Wachovia

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Wells Fargo & Co. is the new suitor for Wachovia Corp., today announcing a merger agreement worth about $15.1 billion -- but Citigroup Inc., the financial services company that had planned to buy Wachovia in a deal announced Monday, is crying foul. The Wells-Wachovia announcement is the latest in a series of power plays in the financial industry that have created a handful of mega banks -- the moves were largely precipitated by the one-two punch of exposure to bad loans and the credit crunch. Under the Wells-Wachovia agreement, Wells Fargo would acquire all outstanding shares of common stock for Wachovia in a stock-for-stock transaction and will acquire all of Wachovia's businesses, equity, debts and banking deposits. Wells reported that the deal was unanimously approved by boards for both companies. The deal will not require any financial assistance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or any other government agency, Wells Fargo announced. But Citi is claiming, in ...