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Byline: LAURA MANDARO
Bank of America agreed to buy credit card issuer MBNA Corp. for $35 billion, creating the largest U.S. card company and marking a sudden end to the once staunchly independent MBNA.
The deal, pulled together in just a week, would give Bank of America a 20% share of the credit card market, above Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The Charlotte, N.C.-based retail and commercial banking giant will have a lead in the "affinity card" market with $143 billion in outstanding card balances.
BofA offered 0.5009 share of its stock plus $4.125 in cash for each MBNA share, a 30% premium to Wednesday' close. On Thursday, MBNA shot up 24% to …