DALLAS - Valero Energy Corp.’s $6.9 billion purchase of Premcor Inc. — a deal that would create the largest oil refiner in North America — comes as high prices drive up the industry’s profit margins.
Analysts said Valero’s move is unlikely to offer immediate help to motorists weary of paying more than $2 a gallon for gasoline.
But company officials pledged to improve efficiency and capacity at the four refineries it is buying, which could eventually ease pressure on prices.
Valero hopes to complete the cash and stock deal by Dec. 31, but it could face regulatory hurdles because Valero and Premcor operate large refineries in the Northeast.
Valero Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Greehey predicted that antitrust regulators will approve the acquisition.