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Citigroup-Wachovia-Wells Fargo

 Guhan Subramanian and Nithyasri Sharma   Revised: June 10, 2010
Product number:
HLS 10-03
19 pages
Product Type:
Discussion-Based Case Study
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On Friday, September 26th, 2008, Wachovia found itself on the brink of failure, and entered into acquisition talks with Citigroup and Wells Fargo. After a weekend of intense negotiations involving the FDIC, Citigroup was announced as the winner on Monday, September 29th, and the two parties signed a “letter of intent,” providing an exclusive negotiating period through Monday, October 6th. However, on Thursday October 2nd, Wells Fargo reentered the game and made an offer, which the Wachovia board accepted. As the deal flashed across the newswire on Friday, October 3rd, Mr. Pandit gathered his top executives to devise a plan of action.

Learning Objectives

This case explores the role of a company’s Board of Directors, especially during a time of crisis. The case explores these issues in the context of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The case also offers the opportunity to study the role of government regulators, particularly the FDIC and the U.S. Treasury Department, in these situations. The case concludes with the legal questions surrounding Congressional legislation and other government actions as it pertains to business contracts.

Subjects Covered

Government Regulation, Financial Crisis, Board of Directors


Geographic: United States

Industry: Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Government

Event Year Begin: 2008

Hard Copy

For hard copies, please contact Lisa Brem E-mail: lbrem@law.harvard.edu; Ph: +1-617-495-8689

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