Indian chemical conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. is close to announcing a big acquisition, according to India's The Economic Times, and the target could be all or part of LyondellBasell Industries AF SCA, the world's largest polyolefins maker. The financial press has already linked Reliance to a potential deal, although LyondellBasell has made it clear that it plans to exit bankruptcy in a few months and launch an equity offering sometime in 2010. The story in The Economic Times does not quote anyone from Reliance confirming the news, but notes that its reporters talked to "people with direct knowledge of the deal."
ET spoke to a number of bankers and analysts to ascertain the possible size of the transaction. One banker said the transaction could be in the region of $6 billion and may include both the US and the European assets of LyondellBassell.Will this deal get done? It's clear from this report, and others in recent weeks, that there are some negotiations taking place. But it is noteworthy that Reliance in the past has expressed interest in some big global chemical company assets -- remember its interest in GE Plastics? Will this be the deal that Reliance actually delivers? It certainly does seem like a better fit.