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Bank of America / FleetBoston Bank of America Corporation is growing in spectacular fashion again. The Charlotte, North Carolina�based bank, the third-largest in the country, is acquiring FleetBoston Financial Corporation, the seventh-largest, for $47 billion in stock. The deal was the biggest one announced on October 27, and at press time was the largest transaction of 2003. The merger was also the largest combination of two financial institutions since 1998, when BofA was formed by the $60 billion merger of BankAmerica Corp. and NationsBank Corp. The marriage of BofA and FleetBoston will create a 5,600-branch institution holding almost 10 percent of all money deposited in U.S. commercial banks. Since federal regulators won’t approve commercial bank mergers that give the combined entity more than 10 percent of the deposit market, this deal will almost certainly be BofA’s last purchase of a commercial bank. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. For acquiror Bank of America Corporation (Charlotte, North Carolina) In-house: General counsel Paul Polking, deputy general counsel Charles Berger, and assistant general counsel Teresa Brenner. Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton (New York): Financial institutions: John Murphy, Jr., M&A: David Leinwand and Paul Shim. (Murphy is in Washington, D.C.). Cleary has represented BofA on various matters for years. For target FleetBoston Financial Corporation (Boston) In-house: General counsel Gary Spiess. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (New York): Corporate: Edward Herlihy, Lawrence Makow, Craig Wasserman, and associates Nicholas Demmo and Roy Katzovicz. Employee benefits: Adam Chinn, Jeannemarie O’Brien, and associate Stephen Francis. Tax: Jared Rusman. Wachtell’s long relationship with FleetBoston started with one of its predecessor institutions, Fleet Financial Group Inc. (Wachtell has also represented Bank of America and NationsBank on numerous deals over the years, and the firm represented both companies in their 1998 merger.)

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