News In Brief

By , Judy Nichols, Noel Paul, and Sara Steindorf

After the boards of Chevron and Texaco formally approved a $45.4 billion merger Sunday, the companies announced 4,000 jobs, or 7 percent of their combined workforce, would be eliminated. They said the cuts would result in annual savings of $1.2 billion, and that, overall, ChevronTexaco Corp. would have an "enterprise value" of $100 billion - making it the world's fourth-largest oil company. The cost includes $10.1 billion of debt that Chevron will assume, Bloomberg news agency reported, citing sources familiar with negotiations. Federal regulators are expected to scrutinize the merger because of already high prices for gasoline and heating oil. Industry experts have long said a union of the two companies would require significant divestitures of gas stations and other overlapping assets.

An auction for the 35 percent stake in Christiana Bank owned by the government of Norway was won by Merita- Nordbanken, a company in the process of changing its name to Nordic Baltic Holding AB. If it wins shareholder approval, the $2.9 billion deal will result in the first Scandinavia-wide bank, with 38,000 employees and assets of $188 billion. MeritaNordbanken is a joint Finnish-Swedish company based in Stockholm. In March, it acquired Copenhagen, Denmark-based Unidanmark. Christiana Bank is Norway's second largest.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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