LyondellBasell gets buyout offer from Reliance

AP News
Posted: Nov 21, 2009 12:10 PM

LyondellBasell Industries said Saturday Reliance Industries offered to acquire a controlling interest in the beleaguered chemical company, which is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

LyondellBasell declined to disclose the value of the cash offer. India-based Reliance did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reliance's offer "represents a potential alternative to the initial plan of reorganization," LyondellBasell said, and it "will continue to work with all parties to design an approach that maximizes value for the company's creditors."

The offer is nonbinding and is in addition to other nonbinding equity financing proposals LyondellBasell has received.

LyondellBasell is the world's third-largest independent chemical company and is controlled by billionaire investor Len Blavatnik. Its products are used in gasoline, plastics, electronics, autos, paints and many other products.

LyondellBasell was formed in 2008, when Basell International Holdings paid $12.7 billion for Houston-based Lyondell Chemical, taking on debt just as oil prices skyrocketed, squeezing profit margins at chemical makers.

As oil prices fell in the second half of last year, the recession undercut demand for chemical products, leading several affiliates and subsidiaries of Netherlands-based LyondellBasell to file for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.