We wondered earlier what Citi meant when it said it “believed” it had an exclusivity agreement with Wachovia (WB) that would prevent Wachovia (WB) from running off with Wells Fargo (WFC). Now we’re beginning to understand.
FOX Business has posted a letter (pdf) that it says is an exclusivity agreement between the two companies. (We have since received a copy of the same letter). The letter is signed by both someone at Wachovia (Robert Steel?) and Citi’s CFO Crittenden. That said, is not written on corporate letterhead, and it looks unlike any formal agreement between two big corporations that we’ve ever seen. It also contains a HANDWRITTEN EDIT (initialled) stating that the exclusivity extends through October 6th. (The original typed agreement had no date).
If Citi can prove that Wachovia signed the EDITED version of this document, the Wachovia-Wells Fargo-Citi slugfest could get interesting. Specifically, Citi might actually be able to block the Wachovia – Wells Fargo deal, which would kill Wachovia’s stock.
We speculated earlier that Citi’s lawyers might have massively screwed up. Perhaps it was Wachovia’s lawyers who massively screwed up. Perhaps someone forgot to tell Bob Steel, Wachovia’s CEO, that someone had faxed Citi a signed copy of this letter. (Though the Wachovia signature looks like it could be his).
Here a composite image of the letter and the signature pages: