CHICAGO - St. Paul Bancorp said it agreed to buy Elm Financial Services Inc., for about $49.1 million, or $22.45 a share.

The buyer's chief subsidiary, St. Paul Federal, is the largest independent thrift headquartered in Illinois, with assets of $3.6 billion. Elm is the holding company for Elmhurst Federal Savings Bank, which has eight banking facilities with assets of $380 million.

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