Reliance betters offer for LyondellBasell | business | Hindustan Times
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Reliance betters offer for LyondellBasell

business Updated: Jan 08, 2010 20:56 IST
Anupama Airy

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is understood to have increased its offer to buy a controlling a stake in LyondellBasell Industries AF, valuing the US-Dutch bankrupt petrochemical firm at $13.5 billion (Rs 61,830 crore) against the its earlier bid offer of $12 billion (Rs 54,960 crore) made last November.

While RIL officials declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal report that said Reliance had sweetened its offer, sources close to the company confirmed that a revised offer letter had been sent to LyondellBasell’s board.

The proposed acquisition would give Reliance chemical plants, two oil refineries and access to the U.S. fuel market.

The Journal, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, said the new proposal was also unlikely to be accepted. RIL is facing resistance from Lyondell’s leading stakeholders.

It said LyondellBasell’s board had rejected the offer from Reliance, which would entail India’s biggest company buying $2.25 billion in stock and backing a $2.8 billion share sale.

Lyondell Chemical Co., a unit of the Netherlands-based company, filed a plan to reorganize with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in December. LyondellBasell said on December 24 that it had filed an amended plan that had “substantial creditor support.”

LyondellBasell’s reorganisation plan values the company as high as $15.5 billion and Reliance has time until February to make another offer, the paper said.

David Harpole, a Houston-based spokesman for LyondellBasell, declined to comment on any discussions with Reliance, citing confidentiality agreement.

“We remain focused on getting approval of our amended plan of reorganisation, which has the support of a majority of senior secured lenders and bridge-debt holders, but that does not prohibit us from considering bona fide proposals,” he said, according to a news agency.

Reliance shares closed 1,101.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange with little change.