Wachovia Corp. is buying competitor SouthTrust Corp. in a $14.3-billion deal that would make it the biggest bank in the Southeast.
Wachovia said it planned to close 130 to 150 branch offices and eliminate about 4,300 jobs after the merger, announced Monday, is completed.
Many of the job cuts would be done through attrition, said Ken Thompson, Wachovia's chief executive, chairman and president.
Wachovia would get SouthTrust's 60 branches in Texas, which Thompson called "one of the wealthiest and fastest-growing markets in the country."
The enlarged Wachovia would have $464 billion in assets, maintaining its position as the nation's fourth-largest bank.
The deal calls for Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia to exchange 0.89 share of its stock for each share of Birmingham, Ala.-based SouthTrust. The companies valued the deal at $14.3 billion, based on Wachovia's closing stock price of $47 on Friday.
SouthTrust rose $4.57, or 13%, to $39.37 on Nasdaq, and Wachovia fell $1.98, or 4%, to $45.02 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Wachovia has $411 billion in assets, with banking operations in 11 Southern and Eastern states and Washington, D.C. SouthTrust has $52.7 billion in assets and does business in nine Southern states.