The Office of Thrift Supervision Thursday approved California Federal Bank's application to buy Glendale Federal Bank, Glendale, Calif.

CalFed, a San Francisco thrift owned by investors Ronald O. Perelman and Gerald J. Ford, expects to complete the merger by Sept. 30, according to a spokeswoman.

The merged thrift, to be called CalFed, will be the nation's second- largest, with assets of $52 billion. CalFed has 225 branches in California, Nevada, and Florida; Glendale has 181 branches and 26 lending offices in California. When overlapping branches are closed, CalFed would have about 370 branches and deposits of $28 billion. - Snigdha Prakash

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