Banking: The Biggest Merger

The biggest bank merger in U.S. history was set up last week. Directors for the Chase National Bank (No. 3 in the U.S.) and the Bank of the Manhattan Co. (No. 15) agreed on terms to combine their total deposits of $6.9 billion, create the nation's second biggest bank (after California's Bank of America, with $8.3 billion in deposits). Name of the new bank: The Chase Manhattan Bank.

Once before, in 1951, Chase and the Bank of the Manhattan Co. tried to join, with Chase taking over Manhattan. But Manhattan's 156-year-old state charter was so drawn that a single dissenting stockholder...

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