NU Online News Service, Aug. 27, 4:35 p.m. – Wachovia Corp., Atlanta says its shareholders have approved its proposal to merge with First Union Corp., Charlotte, N.C.

The vote appears to represent a defeat for SunTrust Banks Inc., Atlanta, which had put forth a rival bid for Wachovia.

The merger received support from 122 million shares. That represents 60% of the 203 million shares outstanding, and 73% of the votes cast, Wachovia says.

Wachovia said the results reflected broad support from retail and institutional shareholders.

Wachovia has $75 billion in assets and retail branches in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

First Union, with $246 billion in assets, has banking offices in 11 East Coast states and the District of Columbia.