Monday, December 14, 2009

LyondellBasell to go East?

LyondellBasell is currently the worlds largest producer of polyolefins. They [1,2] have certainly seen their better days [3] as they are now in bankruptcy. The company is private and headquarted in the Netherlands.

Now comes Reliance Industries of India, the largest private company in India to try and acquire them on friendly terms. Reports are in the range of $6 - $12 billion, quite a big chunk of change. If this deal goes through, it will be another large plastics supplier that is now owned by a non-"Western" company (GE Plastics, now SABIC is another example). I don't have any opinion one way or the other, just noticing the trend, one that will surely continue over time.

[1] Lyondell was bought by Basell a few years ago, being formed from parts of ARCO (formerly known as the Atlantic Richfield Company).
[2] Basell was formed from parts of BASF and Shell (hence the name), with those parts having previously belong to Himont (which was a joint venture of Hercules and Montedison) and others.
[3] With all this mergermania, privatization, sell-offs and IPOs, someone is making money, but I don't think it is coming from margins on the resins.

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