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"Savings and Loan companies, also known as thrifts, were/are mutually owned companies, eg. owned by those with savings accounts, cds, checking accounts, etc. If a thrift decided to change from a mutually owned company to a stock company, the previous owners (the depositors) have first access to the stock in the new company.

In other words, you could buy into the IPO before the general public, usually at a very favorable price compared to what the general public would pay."
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