SAN FRANCISCO -- Just weeks after he successfully the recapitalization of Glendale Federal Bank, chairman and chief executive Stephen J. Trafton is eyeing another long shot: the takeover of crosstown rival California Federal Bank.

The hard-driving Mr. Trafton has quietly begun floating the idea to investors and investment bankers in an effort to gauge whether financing could be obtained for a deal to unite the two financially troubled thrifts, people familiar with the plan said.

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