Wachovia Corp. said Thursday it would close, sell, or shrink 85 Virginia branches after its deals to acquire two banks in the state are completed this quarter.

The moves are expected to affect 300 employees and reduce the combined banks' Virginia presence by 25%, Wachovia said. The branch shutterings and sales would also create $97 million in cost savings that Wachovia said it needs to make the transactions work financially and would help eliminate antitrust concerns in some markets.

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