Wells Fargo, Barrington Associates Announce Definitive Acquisition Agreement

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) said today that Wells Fargo, Wells Fargo Securities LLC, its investment banking subsidiary, and Barrington Associates signed a definitive agreement for Wells Fargo Securities to acquire Barrington Associates, a private investment banking firm headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in San Francisco and Newport Beach, California. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Established in 1982, Barrington Associates provides merger and acquisition (M&A) and corporate finance advisory services to companies with revenues between $25 million and $1 billion. The firm has completed transactions in a variety of industries including consumer products, business services, food and beverage, building products, home furnishings, industrial equipment and healthcare. Its clients are a diverse set of entrepreneur-owned companies and private equity firms. Barrington Associates will continue to operate under its existing name as a division of Wells Fargo Securities and will be Wells Fargo's principal unit handling middle market mergers and acquisitions.

"Merger and acquisition advisory services is a key product area for our middle market customers and private equity clients," said Tim Sloan, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo's Specialized Financial Services Group. "The addition of Barrington Associates will significantly expand and build on our existing investment banking capabilities and will help us serve our customers better."

Barrington Associates provides sell-side merger and acquisition advisory services to both private equity firms and entrepreneur-owned companies. It also provides fairness opinions, structuring and raising of private financing of debt and equity capital, and restructuring advice to troubled companies. Its senior bankers have an average of 16 years of experience, with over 35 bankers focused exclusively on middle market businesses.

"We're excited to combine with Wells Fargo to bring our expertise to more companies," said Mike Rosenberg, Barrington Associates managing director. "As we grow in 2006 and beyond, we will continue to add talented senior investment bankers to our highly skilled and experienced team. We look forward to joining the team of Wells Fargo Securities bankers to greatly expand M&A advisory services to Wells Fargo's middle-market customers and private equity clients."

Headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo Securities has investment banking operations in San Francisco, New York, Portland (Ore.), Chicago and Boston. It provides investment banking advice and services, including mergers and acquisitions services, fairness opinions, debt and equity capital markets advice, private equity placements and retail syndication.

Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking -- with $97 billion in assets, and more than 600 locations coast-to-coast -- includes middle market banking, corporate banking, commercial real estate, treasury management, asset-based lending, insurance brokerage, foreign exchange, trade services, specialized lending, equipment finance, capital markets activities, and asset management. Its Commercial Electronic Office(R) (CEO(R)) internet portal processes more than one million customer account log-ins a month. Wells Fargo is #1 in market share for middle market commercial customers in the western United States. Wholesale Banking accounts for about a quarter of the total earnings of Wells Fargo & Company.

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $500 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,200 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the highest credit-rated bank in the U.S., receiving an "Aaa" by Moody's Investors Service -- its top credit rating -- and "AA+" by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

Source: Wells Fargo & Company

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