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    Court Allows Western Refining Merger to Continue

    Preliminary injunction by the FTC was denied.

    EL PASO, Texas, and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico denied the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) request for a preliminary injunction relating to the proposed merger of Giant Industries and Western Refining, and eliminated a temporary restraining order that was issued on April 13, the companies stated.

    "The District Court's ruling affirms what we, as well as what many customers and state and industry leaders, have said all along. We believe a Western-Giant combination is pro-competitive and provides important benefits to the companies' stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees," Western president and CEO Paul Foster said in a written statement.

    The FTC is expected to appeal the ruling and seek an injunction from either the District Court or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Western stated. If no rulings come from the U.S. Court of Appeals, the companies can complete the merger after noon Mountain time today.

    "There is no basis for the FTC to appeal the District Court's decision," Foster said. "We remain confident in our position and look forward to closing the transaction."

    The FTC has maintained that the $1.3 billion acquisition of Giant Industries by Western Refining -- announced in November and approved by shareholders in February -- will ultimately lead to higher gas prices in the regions they operate. During court hearings, the FTC added that the acquisition will reduce competition and cause higher prices for bulk gasoline supply in 11 northern New Mexico counties, including the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas, CSNews Online reported May 9, when the hearings began.

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