Wachovia, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup – Score one for Citigroup!

Elizabeth Nowicki —  5 October 2008

Last last night, a New York judge issued an injunction tolling the termination of Wachovia’s Exclusivity Agreement with Citigroup.  In addition, the judge set a show cause hearing date for next Friday to sort out the issue of whether Wachovia’s pending merger with Wells Fargo should be enjoined as a violation of Wachovia’s exclusivity agreement with Citigroup.

I blogged about this disfunctional three-party dance on Friday, and the WSJ Deal Journal reported some of my thoughts as well.  I took the position that Citigroup is in a nice bargaining position, and the court’s order only strengthens Citigroup’s position.

Do I think Citigroup will ultimately acquire Wachovia’s banking assets?  No.  Do I think Citigroup will get a nice “go away, please” payment from Wachovia, with a kick-in from Wells Fargo?  Yes.

I reserve the right to change this opinion, however, after I finish going through the 478 pages of bailout legislation passed on Friday to see if I am missing any hidden value Citigroup could get from Wachovia’s assets.