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Case Title:

Wells Fargo’s Acquisition of Wachovia: A Smart Move During Tough Times?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: D Jha, A Karunakaran, S Gollapalli

Industry: Banking, Insurance and Financial Services

Region:US

Case Code: MAA0222IRC

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:
The US economy was passing through a financial meltdown, caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the consequent credit crunch, beginning in the summer of 2007, which had pan-global repercussions. In such financially turbulent times banks were struggling with an abrupt crunch in liquidity and loss of goodwill. While financial giants like Bears Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch suffered to the point of losing their identity, Wells Fargo, another financial institution, remained strong by and large and had taken the risk of acquiring Wachovia, a victim of the financial meltdown, in a $15 billion deal by substantially outbidding Citigroup's offer of $2.2 billion, and also declining any government assistance. This deal poised to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2008 would create the fourth largest banking entity in the US with over 6,000 banking branches nationwide. With the challenges of balancing solvency, liquidity, asset quality and growth, it remains to be seen whether this acquisition was a prudent call or a hasty decision.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understanding the US financial meltdown and its impact on the US banking industry.
  • To outlining the consolidation process of the banking industry.
  • To analysing the acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo and the challenges that lie ahead.

Keywords : Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Acquisition, Strategy, Organic and inorganic growth, US banking industry, Impact of US financial crisis on banks, Financial meltdown, Credit or liquidity crunch, Wall Street giants, Bankruptcy and bail out, US sub-prime mortgage crisis and banks, Consolidation

Contents : 
Wells Fargo: Evolution and Growth
Financial Meltdown and Impact on US Banks Growth
Acquisition of Wachovia and the Road Ahead
Wells Fargo’s Reputation
Snapshot of the Bailout and Consolidation Process
Financial Standing News Release by Wells Fargo

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