In a deal to create another retail banking giant in the heartland, Milwaukee-based Firstar Corp. said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Minneapolis rival U.S. Bancorp for $21 billion in stock.

The deal would create a company with $160 billion of assets, 10 million customers, and 2,200 branches in 24 states stretching across the upper Midwest and Plains to the Pacific Ocean. The combined entity would take the U.S. Bancorp name and be based in Minneapolis.

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