Wachovia is seriously bidding for MFS Investment Management, a source has told the Charlotte Observer.

But MFS parent, Sun Life, is looking for a premium price of as much as $3 billion and for a say in how the combined company will be run, making negotiations “very complicated,” the source said.

Because Sun Life is so adamant about these terms, the company may end up not selling MFS at all, the source said. For its part, Wachovia might walk away from a deal deemed too rich, as it passed up on buying MBNA last year because of the lofty price tag. Wachovia is also still integrating Golden West Financial, which it acquired on Oct. 1, with its own operations

Spokespersons for MFS, Sun Life and Wachovia declined to comment.

Were Wachovia to acquire MFS, it would double its Evergreen mutual fund family assets to about $184 billion, making it the 13th largest fund company in the nation. Wachovia might also not relocate MFS’ 2,400 employees, most of whom are in Boston, as its own 1,200 employees are primarily based in Boston and Charlotte.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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