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October 12, 2010

LyondellBasell To Be Public Again

Petrochemicals: Stock exchange listing will be a milestone following the company's recent troubles

Alex Tullo

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After a nearly three-year, and often eventful, hiatus, LyondellBasell shares will this week trade once again on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Lyondell traded publicly until December 2007, when Basell, then owned by the industrial holding company Access Industries, purchased it for about $20 billion. In early 2009, LyondellBasell, which had an enormous debt load, fell victim to the credit crunch and filed for bankruptcy.

After fending off takeover overtures from India's Reliance Industries, LyondellBasell emerged from bankruptcy in April. The largest shareholder of the company is the private equity firm Apollo Management, which has a 29.2% stake. Apollo also owns the specialty chemicals maker Momentive Performance Materials. LyondellBasell's previous owner, Access Industries, has a 9.9% interest. Other major shareholders include the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ares Management.

The company has 337 million class A shares and 229 million class B shares outstanding. They have been trading on the over-the-counter stock market since April. Yesterday, the class A shares closed at $25.16 and the class B shares closed at $26.15, making for a market capitalization of $14.8 billion.

Jim Gallogly, the former ChevronPhillips Chemical CEO who was tapped last year to head LyondellBasell, calls the NYSE listing a milestone. "Listing here will provide a more liquid and transparent mechanism for investors wanting to own shares in one of the world's premier chemical companies," he says. Gallogly was awarded nearly 1.8 million shares when the company emerged from bankruptcy and has an option to purchase 5.6 million shares at a price of $17.61 per share over the next five years.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest makers of polyethylene, polypropylene, and propylene oxide. It also runs refineries in France and Texas. It had revenues in 2009 of $30.8 billion.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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