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Citi gets court order, blocking Wells-Wachovia deal

Citi claims it has exclusive negotiating rights, says N.Y. court sets hearing
By Sam Mamudi, MarketWatch
Last update: 6:07 a.m. EDT Oct. 5, 2008

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - Citigroup said late on Saturday that a New York court issued an order extending its agreement under which it has exclusive rights to negotiate a purchase of Wachovia Corp.

A deal between Wachovia and Citi was unveiled on Monday. But late on Thursday, Wachovia agreed to be acquired by Wells Fargo.

Responding on Friday to the Wachovia-Wells tie-up proposal, Citigroup claimed that it had exclusive rights and that Wachovia was not permitted to talk to anyone else.

A statement on Saturday from Citi said that Justice Charles Ramos of New York State Supreme Court, a trial court, issued an emergency injunction that extended Citi's exclusivity agreement with Wachovia. The judge issued the order over Wachovia's objection, Citi said.

The exclusivity agreement, Citi's Saturday statement said, "unconditionally bars Wachovia from negotiating or entering into a merger/acquisition agreement with any party other than Citi."
Justice Ramos set a hearing for Friday, Oct. 10, at which Citigroup and Wachovia must appear, Citi said.

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