Washington Mutual Inc. came riding in Thursday with a white-knight rescue bid of $6.6 billion for Great Western Financial Corp., handily beating H.F. Ahmanson & Co.'s earlier hostile offer.

The move, though much anticipated, was nevertheless a bold stroke by Kerry Killinger, chief executive officer of Seattle-based Washington Mutual, and could spark a protracted bidding war for Chatsworth, Calif.- based Great Western.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.