Times Staff and Wire Reports

Shawmut Shareholders Sue Over Merger With Fleet: Five shareholder suits filed this week seek to block the proposed $3.7-billion merger with Fleet Financial Group or recovery of damages related to Shawmut National Corp. directors' alleged failure to maximize shareholder value, according to court papers. Boston-based Shawmut and Providence, R.I.-based Fleet on Tuesday announced the plan to form a New England banking combine that would be one of the top 10 U.S. banks. Under the agreement, Shawmut stockholders would get Fleet stock worth $30 a share. Fleet shares closed at $30.875 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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