WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has ordered the sale of three Iowa branches of Brenton Banks Inc. as a condition of its pending merger with Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco.

Wells Fargo said in July that it would buy Brenton, of Des Moines, for about $264 million in stock. The deal would boost Wells Fargo’s deposit share in Iowa to 15%, tops in the state.

The transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter, is still subject to the approval of the Federal Reserve Board, the Iowa superintendent of banking and Brenton shareholders at a Nov. 30 meeting in Des Moines.

To resolve antitrust concerns, Wells Fargo has agreed to divest three Brenton branches in the Des Moines area containing $129 million of deposits, as well as commercial loans associated with thee branches.

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