Apollo currently owns 51% of LyondellBasell, which emerged from bankruptcy two years ago – see Plasteurope.com of 12.03.2010. Stakeholder Access Industries, the investment vehicle of billionaire minority owner Len Blavatnik, decided not to participate in the offering. At last count, Access held 32.24% of the reorganised company that was pieced together through the 2007 merger of Blavatnik-owned Basell with Lyondell and subsequently became insolvent. Apollo’s private equity partner Ares was last known to hold 16.2%.
At current exchange rates, the deal expected to close on 7 September would generate net proceeds of USD 821m. Apollo has also granted underwriters Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley a 30-day option to purchase up to 2.6m additional ordinary shares.
LyondellBasell made its New York Stock Exchange debut in October 2010 – see Plasteurope.com of 12.10.2010. Over the nearly two-year span the share price has risen from just under USD 27 to almost USD 47. Stock market watchers attribute the rise to the company’s leveraging of shale gas-derived ethylene, giving its US operation access to cheap petrochemical feedstocks.
Dutch-based LyondellBasell has also been added to the Standard & Poor index of the 500 leading US companies, replacing retailer Sears. CEO Jim Gallogly called the inclusion in the index “a testament to our progress toward making LyondellBasell the top competitor in the chemical industry.” The company’s expansion projects to extend its shale gas advantage “are proceeding on schedule,” he added.