WSJ: Citi In Talks To Buy A Bank

(Reuters) – Less than a month after walking away from Wachovia Corp, Citigroup Inc is in discussions to acquire another U.S. bank, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.

The target’s identity could not be determined, the paper said, but added that it was a regional bank that overlaps geographically with Citigroup’s retail-banking unit, which has its highest concentration of branches in the Northeast, California and Texas.

A deal could be reached later this month, the people told the paper.

The fallout from Wells Fargo & Co’s successful deal to acquire Wachovia has added to tensions between Citigroup executives and directors, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Some board members have felt they weren’t sufficiently kept in the loop, while some executives complained that directors are trying to wield too much clout, the paper said citing, people familiar with the matter.

Some insiders told the paper that an acquisition would pump up morale at Citigroup and ease the embarrassment of the Wachovia mess.

Citigroup could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Kim Coghill)