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Times Staff and Wire Reports

San Francisco-based First Nationwide Holdings Inc., the parent company of First Nationwide Bank, received approval from the Office of Thrift Supervision for its purchase of Los Angeles-based CalFed Bancorp Inc. First Nationwide announced plans in July to buy CalFed for $1.2 billion in cash. . . . South San Francisco-based Genentech Inc. said Robert A. Swanson, founder of the biotechnology company, will retire as chairman at the end of the month. . . . Pasadena-based Idealab has recruited New York Times reporter Peter Lewis as vice president and editorial director of its new ideaMarket unit. . . . Pasadena-based Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. said it agreed to purchase closely held fund manager Leshner Financial Inc. for up to $16 million in stock. . . . Woodland Hills-based Litton Industries Inc. said it will buy the marine electronics business of Britain's Racal Electronics for $49 million in cash. . . . Palo Alto-based Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc. plans to raise as much as $30 million through an initial public offering, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. . . . San Diego-based Biosite Diagnostics Inc., a maker of medical testing equipment, plans to sell 2 million common shares in an initial public offering.

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