Wachovia shareholder lawsuit goes to court

Written by Michael Handy

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Mecklenburg County judge is set to hear a class action lawsuit that could cause big problems for Wells Fargo's planned acquisition of Wachovia.

The lawsuit, filed by a large group of shareholders, argues Wells Fargo is not offering a fair price or allowing a fair vote.  Wells Fargo has offered $15 billion, but the lawsuit claims that amount does not account for the increased value of Wachovia, which shareholders say came after Congress passed the financial bailout.

The suit also takes aim at a clause giving Wells Fargo nearly 40 percent of the shareholder votes currently held by Wachovia.  The shareholders in this suit say that effectively renders their votes useless.

Wachovia disagrees with both of the shareholders' claims.  Executives at the bank say they had only two choices, merge with Wells Fargo or allow the FDIC to seize Wachovia's assets.

Either way, it is going to be an interesting afternoon in Mecklenburg County court.  The hearing starts at 2:00 p.m.  WBTV On Your Side will have the latest update starting tonight at 5:00 p.m.  Click the red camera icon to watch Michael Handy's live report which aired during WBTV News at Noon.