Issue Date: May 21, 2007
Basell's Owner Acquires Right To Stake In Lyondell
Access Industries, an investment firm that owns the polyolefins producer Basell, has entered an agreement that could give it control of 8.3% of Lyondell Chemical, the third-largest publicly traded U.S. chemical company. An Access affiliate, AI Chemical Investments, acquired the right to purchase the Lyondell stake from Merrill Lynch. Merrill, in turn, obtained the stake from Occidental Petroleum, which said recently that it plans to sell its 8.3% share in Lyondell for after-tax proceeds of $520 million. News of the transactions sent Lyondell shares up more than 15% on May 11. Kevin W. McCarthy, a chemical stock analyst with Bank of America Securities, told clients that he believes the transaction "puts Lyondell in play." He noted that a combination of Lyondell and Basell would balance Lyondell's excess of propylene with Basell's need for the raw material to make polypropylene. And the two companies' polyethylene businesses are complementary, he said. Lyondell declined to comment on the transaction.
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