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Wells Fargo seals deal to buy private investment bank

Wells Fargo's investment banking subsidiary, Wells Fargo Securities, has completed a definitive agreement to acquire Barrington Associates, a private investment banking firm headquartered in Los Angeles.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but the purchase is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2006.

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 are 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.