Golden State Bancorp said Tuesday that the Office of Thrift Supervision approved its purchase of Cenfed Financial Corp., which was expected to become effective at the close of business Tuesday. Golden State said the acquisition would increase its assets to about $18 billion.

Golden State, parent of Glendale Federal Bank, is in the middle of a series of deals that would culminate in a merger with California Federal Bank, owned by First Nationwide Holdings Inc. That deal, expected to close Sept. 30, would create a $56 billion-asset thrift company.

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