Magazine article American Banker

Battle for Wachovia: SunTrust Pumps Up Pleas to Investors

Magazine article American Banker

Battle for Wachovia: SunTrust Pumps Up Pleas to Investors

Article excerpt

Still stewing over the legislative black eye it suffered in North Carolina last week, SunTrust Banks Inc. has added that injury to its list of reasons institutional investors should reject the merger of North Carolina rivals Wachovia Corp. and First Union Corp.

In a letter to Wachovia's 100 largest institutional investors Monday, SunTrust chairman and chief executive L. Phillip Humann called the legislative maneuvering by the two North Carolina banks a "disturbing development" in the 5-week-old merger battle. Mr. Humann is urging Wachovia shareholders to reject the First Union deal so SunTrust can seek its own merger with Wachovia.

In his letter, Mr. Humann said the legal change adopted by the North Carolina Assembly last Thursday "tramples" shareholder rights at all public companies in the state. "The amendment could inhibit shareholder efforts to remove incompetent, entrenched management, among other things," Mr. Humann wrote.

The pitch, which echoes SunTrust's letter to individual investors, comes as both sides step up their campaigns for the votes of institutional investors, who are likely to decide whether the First Union merger proceeds. The vote is scheduled for Aug. 3 at Wachovia's annual shareholders meeting. On Wednesday, First Union executives in Charlotte were holding another round of one-on-one meetings with analysts, mostly from stock-owning institutions, according to a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, lawyers for all three companies were due back in North Carolina Business Court in Greensboro Wednesday afternoon to continue haggling over what documents they should be required to show one another as their competing lawsuits proceed.

First Union and Wachovia sued SunTrust on May 22, accusing it of interfering with their merger and breaking confidentiality agreements that SunTrust signed during its own failed merger discussions with Wachovia last December. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.