SANTA MONICA, Calif. — FirstFed Financial Corp. has agreed to buy the two California banks that City Holding Co. of Charleston, W.Va., has had on the market for more than a year.

The $4.6 billion-asset parent of First Federal Bank of California said Thursday that it would pay $23 million in cash for $128 million-asset Del Amo Savings Bank and $73 million-asset Frontier State Bank. The deal price is about 1.3 times the combined book value of Torrance-based Del Amo and Frontier State in Redondo Beach, FirstFed said.

The two community banks, which would be integrated into First Federal, would add four branches to the company’s 25 in Southern California. Specifically, they would increase First Federal’s presence in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, and Frontier’s construction lending would expand FirstFed’s real estate product offerings, the latter said.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

City Holding, which bought Del Amo in 1998 and Frontier in 1999, announced in July 2000 that it was looking to sell them in order to focus on West Virginia and Ohio.

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