Wachovia closes deal to acquire SouthTrust

Monday, November 1st 2004, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Wachovia Corp. has closed the deal to acquire SouthTrust Corp. in a $14.3 billion merger that will create the largest bank in the Southeast, both banks said Monday.

``We are delighted to welcome our SouthTrust teammates, customers and shareholders as we join forces,'' said Ken Thompson, chairman, president and chief executive of Charlotte-based Wachovia.

``As we integrate the two companies in the coming months, we are committed to offering best-in-class customer service and delivering strong performance for our shareholders,'' he said.

Former SouthTrust chairman and CEO Wallace Malone said he was pleased to see the Birmingham, Ala.-based bank join forces with Wachovia, which be called ``one of the nation's best and largest financial services companies.''

``The strength of this combination is that we have merged with a company which, like SouthTrust, has a proven track record in excellent customer service and outstanding financial performance,'' said Malone, who becomes vice chairman of Wachovia.

The integration process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2005, Wachovia said.

Last Thursday, shareholders both banks overwhelmingly approved the all-stock transaction, which also gives Wachovia an opening in the lucrative Texas market.

The transaction, which the banks announced June 21, has been valued at $14.3 billion. The deal calls for Wachovia to exchange 0.89 shares of its common stock for each share of SouthTrust.

Wachovia has said it will eliminate some 4,300 jobs, partly through attrition, as part of the acquisition.

Before the merger, Wachovia had assets of $436.7 billion and operations in 11 eastern states and Washington, D.C. The company has more than 85,000 employees.

SouthTrust, which has $53.8 billion in assets, operates in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, with a work force of 12,400.