H.F. Ahmanson & Co. sought to turn up the heat on Great Western Financial Corp. Thursday, with full-page newspaper ads calling on the company to "Begin discussions with us NOW!"

Few believed that the ads, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and three other Southern California newspapers, would have any effect on Great Western. But observers said they underscored Ahmanson's desire to avoid a bidding war and get the deal done quickly.

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