California Federal Bank of San Francisco and Glendale Federal Bank said Thursday they would merge in a $2.7 billion stock deal that would reduce the number of major thrifts in the state to four.

The deal would create a $51 billion-asset company that ranks behind only H.F. Ahmanson & Co.'s Home Savings unit and the California holdings of Washington Mutual Inc., among thrifts. Golden West Financial of Oakland is the only other megathrift in a state that was home to a dozen only a decade ago.

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