Basell Bags Lyondell for $12.1 Billion


Rebounding from its failed bid for Huntsman, polyolefin producer Basell has moved on to an agreement to acquire Lyondell Chemical Co. for $12.1 billion, or $48 per share in an all cash transaction. Including assumption of debt, the companies estimate the total value at $19 billion.

The boards of directors of both Basell and Lyondell have approved the transaction, which was announced yesterday. Our board yesterday met and unanimously approved, and will recommend to our shareholders that they also approve, the transaction, Lyondell spokeswoman Susan Moore told Lube Report on Tuesday.

Moore said the two companies already had synergies. Were a major supplier of propylene, and theyre the worlds leading producer of polypropylene – thats just one example, she said. So there are certainly some fits in terms of our upstream and downstream products.

The companies are different but complementary, according to Basell spokesman Nick Nagurny. Lyondell provides a strong fit with our existing global business and strengthens, for example, the North American footprint of Basell, Nagurny told Lube Report. It adds scale to Basell, and it adds feedstock opportunities, particularly in North America. Theyre a very good producer of propylene feedstock materials, so its a good opportunity there.

He explained that Lyondell is a very strong polyethylene (PET) player in North America, while Basell does not currently produce PET. We sell some polyethylene grades here, but it would have to be produced with other Basell assets, he said.

Lyondell also is involved in base oils. Last August, it bought out Citgos stake in the Lyondell-Citgo Refining joint venture, and then agreed to sell the naphthenic base oils produced by the Houston refinery to the U.S. subsidiary of AB Nynas Petroleum. The refinery has capacity to process 268,000 barrels of crude per day and supplies feedstock Lyondell uses to make petrochemicals. It has a base oil plant with capacity to make 3,600 barrels per day of napthenics and which can also process paraffinic base oil feedstock into 1,000 b/d of white oils.

Hoofddorp, Netherlands-based Basell and Houston-based Lyondell together had combined 2006 revenues of $34 billion and 15,000 employees worldwide. Basell is owned by Access Industries, a privately held, U.S.-based industrial group. Lyondell is a publicly traded independent chemical company.

In May, oil group Occidental Petroleum sold about 7 million of its nearly 21 million shares of Lyondell common stock to Access Industries, with an option for Access to acquire the remaining shares, equivalent to 8.3 percent holdings in Lyondell.

Besides PET, Lyondells chemical products include propylene, propylene oxide, propylene glycol, ethylene, butadiene, benzene and styrene monomer. Propylene glycol is widely used as an antifreeze and coolant. Ethylene is a feedstock for linear alphaolefins, which are used to make PAO. Propylene oxide is a building block for polyalkylene glycol, which is a synthetic basestock.

Basell produces polypropylene and advanced polyolefins products, supplies PET and catalysts, and develops and licenses polypropylene and PET processes.

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