Citi and Wells Fargo battle for Wachovia

Citi and Wells Fargo battle for WachoviaThe litigators have been called in for a dispute over the purchase of US bank Wachovia between potential buyers Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

The battle began last week when Citi instructed New York litigator Greg Joseph, name partner at Gregory P Joseph Law Offices and former litigation chairman at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Joseph moved to block Wells Fargo’s $15bn bid for Wachovia made last Friday (3 October), which came just days after Citi’s $2.2bn bid was accepted by Wachovia.

Citi then found itself on the receiving end of a complaint from Wachovia, filed by Boies Schiller & Flexner partners David Boies and George Frampton. Wachovia claimed that its agreement with Citi does not prevent the bank from looking at other options.

Wells Fargo has brought in Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman partner Eric Seiler to advise on the dispute.

Last week (29 September) The Lawyer reported that Davis Polk & Wardwell partners John Ettinger and Phillip Mills were leading a team advising Citi on its bid while Sullivan & Cromwell chairman Rodgin Cohen scored a mandate acting for Wachovia.

Earlier this week (6 October) a litigation cease-fire had been agreed upon by all parties to enable the financial institutions to work out a settlement regarding Wachovia’s acquisition.