SAN FRANCISCO - Consolidation has winnowed to a handful the number of Western thrift companies able to buy Bank Plus, a $2.2 billion Los Angeles thrift that recently shed its regulatory shackles and announced it is negotiating with a potential buyer.

Given the company's past troubles over a subprime credit card portfolio, an acquirer would probably get a bargain price, analysts said, as well as more than $2 billion of deposits in Los Angeles and Orange counties, attractive markets.

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