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Wachovia Corp. announced yesterday that its asset-management unit, Evergreen Investments, agreed to acquire a 70% stake in European Credit Management [ECM] for an undisclosed sum.wb ECM manages a range of assets equaling approximately $26 billion including investment-grade corporate bonds, leveraged loans, high-yield bonds and credit derivatives, making it one of Europe's largest managers of fixed-income credit funds. With the deal complete, Evergreen will itself control $280 billion in assets. ECM reported $33 million in earnings this past year. It is expected Evergreen will eventually acquire the other 30% of ECM with ECM's managers remaining firmly in place.

• Sources: Press Release, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, MarketWatch
• Related commentary: Wachovia's Imprudent Takeover of Golden West, Wachovia Posts Q3 13% Profit Increase But Revenue Disappoints, In Bid To Catch Competitors, Morgan Stanley Will Buy 20% of Avenue Capital, Cramer's Take on WB
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Wachovia Corporation (WB-OLD). Competitors: Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America Corporation (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C). ETFs: streetTRACKS KBW Bank (KBE), Regional Bank HOLDRS (RKH), Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH)

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Source: Wachovia Acquires One of Europe's Largest Fixed-Income Credit Funds