Wachovia Corp. has announced its intention to merge with SouthTrust Corp. in a deal worth $14.3 billion, creating the largest bank in the southeast and the fourth largest in the country. Together, the banks will have assets of $464 billion and market capitalization of $76 billion.

"This transaction gives us clear leadership in a number of attractive, high-growth states, and extends our reach into new southeastern and southwestern states," said Ken Thompson, Wachovia's chairman, president and CEO. "It is also financially attractive for both sets of shareholders."

The merger bolsters Wachovia’s growth in the southeast and Texas.

The companies expect the deal will generate $255 million in annual after-tax expense reductions after the 15-month period after the deal closes. The deal is also expected to incur about $431 million of one-time expenses.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.