Wells Fargo & Co. disclosed it will pay $174 million in stock to buy a bank here along the U.S.-Mexican border. Wells agreed in November to buy $850 million-asset Mercantile Financial Enterprises, which has 12 offices in southern Texas. Mercantile shareholders will vote on the merger Feb. 24.

Wells has said the deal would fill out its presence in the Rio Grande Valley. Mercantile had been trying to sell itself since spring 1996. A deal to sell to Laredo National Bancshares of Laredo, Tex., was terminated in January 1998.

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