LOS ANGELES - Strengthening its real estate investment banking capabilities, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. has purchased New York-based Eastdil LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Eastdil is a powerhouse in the IB arena, leading the industry in transaction volume by placing more than $13 billion in real estate financing in 1998. While Eastdil chairman and CEO Ben Lambert and 21 partners have a new home inside Wells Fargo, they are keeping the Eastdil name and operating structure.

"Combining Eastdil's unsurpassed exposure to real estate transactions and its broad network of relationships with the capital distribution capability and important relationships of Wells Fargo provides both firms with an exciting platform for the future growth of our businesses," says Lambert.

The acquisition requires approval of the California Department of Financial Institutions and a prior notice to the Federal Trade Commission under the provisions of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.