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CALIFORNIA | BANKING | THE STATE

Ahmanson Contacts Great Western Holders

March 04, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

H.F. Ahmanson & Co. began asking Great Western Financial Corp. shareholders to encourage their board to accept its $6-billion hostile takeover offer. Irwindale-based Ahmanson, the nation's largest thrift, said it's mailing forms that ask Great Western shareholders to prohibit their management from offering other banks incentives to bid. It also asks that they demand that the annual meeting be scheduled for as soon as April 22. Chatsworth-based GW had postponed the meeting indefinitely and sued Ahmanson to buy time as it considers the bid. Meanwhile, a GW spokesman said the company is awaiting Securities and Exchange Commission clearance to solicit shareholders to revoke the Ahmanson proposals. Ahmanson shares rose 50 cents to close at $41.625, while GW shares lost 25 cents to close at $43.75. Both trade on the New York Stock Exchange. . . . In a separate development, Beverly Hills-based City National Corp. said it adopted a stockholder rights plan designed to make it prohibitively expensive for rivals to make a hostile takeover.

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