With this week's merger announcement by H.F. Ahmanson & Co. and Coast Savings Financial Inc., California may finally begin living up to its reputation as the end of the bank acquisition rainbow.

The long-anticipated gold rush from out of state never materialized, observers of the California market said, because the Golden State had to go through an internal shakeout. The $901 million Coast deal is just the type of "second-tier" acquisition that will create more attractive buyout targets.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.