A pair of big plastics-related deals are making their way through the rumor mill.
Sunoco Inc. of Philadelphia declined to comment on Brazilian press reports that plastics giant Braskem SA of São Paulo was negotiating to buy Sunoco's chemicals unit, including its polypropylene business. Sunoco had announced in late 2008 that the business was up for sale.
As a matter of policy, I can't comment on marketplace rumors and speculation, Sunoco spokesman Tom Golembeski said by phone Jan. 29. All I can say right now is that the sale process is continuing.
Braskem will become the largest maker of commodity plastics PP, polyethylene and PVC in the Americas when it wraps up its $400 million purchase of a majority stake in Quattor Petroquímica SA, another Brazilian firm.
Two major Braskem shareholders state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA and construction materials supplier Odebrecht SA are combining their interests in Braskem and in Quattor to allow for increased future investment, Braskem officials said in a financial filing.
A Jan. 22 Bloomberg News report listed Dow Chemical Co. and Ineos Group, along with Sunoco, as firms with U.S. assets that Braskem may be looking at.
Meanwhile in New York, the bankruptcy saga of LyondellBasell Industries AF SCA continues to play itself out. On Jan. 19 a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge ruled that the firm can remain in control of its own reorganization plan through April 15. Creditors had attempted to file a separate proposal.
The ruling came as LyondellBasell continues to consider a bid from Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. that is reported to be around $13.5 billion.
In a Jan. 29 e-mail, LyondellBasell spokesman David Harpole said that his firm was pleased with the judge's ruling, but that he could not comment on a possible deal with Reliance.
We are bound by a confidentiality agreement, so I can't comment in any manner on possible discussions with Reliance or speculation over possible proposals, Harpole said.
LyondellBasell of Rotterdam, Netherlands ranks as the world's largest polyolefins maker. The firm filed for bankruptcy in January 2009, citing long-term debt of more than $18 billion.
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