December 18, 2008

Opposition weakens to Wachovia sale

Many Wachovia Corp. shareholders have given up the fight to keep the U.S. bank independent, analysts say.

Some shareholders say they won't even bother to show up at a meeting Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., to express their opposition to selling the bank company to San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co., The Charlotte Observer said.

The newspaper said some shareholders are dumping their shares at a loss, and a shareholder group, Wachovia Vote No, which formed after the sale was announced, shut down its Web site two weeks ago.

The report said resistance to the sale sustained another defeat Wednesday when a New York investor settled his lawsuit against both banks over the purchase agreement. The suit alleged Wells Fargo wasn't paying a fair price or letting Wachovia investors have a fair vote.

Shareholder ballots on the sale are set to be tallied Tuesday. The Observer said Wells Fargo controls 40 percent of the vote because of a provision it inserted into the purchase agreement, and a state judge has refused to strike the provision down.