FTC OKs Chevron's Purchase of Texaco

From Bloomberg News

Chevron Corp.'s $39-billion purchase of Texaco Inc. to form the world's fourth-largest investor-owned oil company was unanimously approved by the Federal Trade Commission.

Texaco agreed to sell U.S. refining and marketing assets that in 1998 were placed in joint ventures with Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Those assets will be placed in a trust because negotiations have stalled over the price Shell will pay for Texaco's share in the two ventures.

Trustees will oversee the sale of Texaco's shares in Equilon Enterprises and Motiva Enterprises. Texaco owns 44% of Equilon, which was formed with Shell to serve the Midwest and West. It owns a 31% stake in the three-way Motiva partnership with Shell and Saudi Oil that operates in the East and South. The assets include six Texaco refineries.

The agreement will help preserve "the competitive balance that existed in the pre-merger environment," said Sean Royall, deputy director of the FTC's antitrust enforcement staff.

The trustee will have eight months to sell the assets for the best price.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Texaco shares rose 58 cents to $70.68, and Chevron shares climbed 65 cents to $92.40.

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