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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Wachovia, the nation’s fourth largest bank, is buying the $52 billion SouthTrust Corp. for approximately $14 billion dollars. As with most large bank mergers, layoffs will accompany the deal. Wachovia said it expects to close 150 branches and eliminate 4,300 jobs. Credit unions in Texas may have a more fierce rival in Wachovia. The bank has been planning to move aggressively into Texas, and the SouthTrust deal gives it an immediate 60 branches in the state. SouthTrust, like its name indicates, is a major player in the South. It has more than seven branches spread out over nine states in the South. Wachovia has pulled off the mega merger before. In 2001 it acquired First Union and the deal worked out well.

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