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LyondellBasell considers bankruptcy filing
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - LyondellBasell, the world's third-largest petrochemical company, is considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of its efforts to restructure debt, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
"As we have said publicly, we are looking to restructure our debt and we are exploring all of our options. Filing for Chapter 11 is one of those options," spokeswoman Susan Moore said.
The company said it has hired advisers, including Evercore, Alix Partners and New York law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, to counsel it as it restructures.
LyondellBasell disclosed in a December 29 regulatory filing that it had begun negotiating with lenders on extending payment dates and restructuring debt. It negotiated one postponement on $160 million in loan-related fees, the filing said.
The company has $26 billion in debt, according to Standard & Poor's, which slashed the company's rating to "selective default" on Tuesday. Moody's Investors Service also cut the company's rating two notches, to Caa2 from B2.
LyondellBasell ACCEIN.UL was created last December when Dutch-based Basell, a unit of Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, bought Houston-based Lyondell.
News of a possible bankruptcy filing drove down its bonds, which trade in London. Its 500 million euro bond, due to mature in 2015, was bid at 4 percent of face value and offered at 8 percent, down from 8 percent bid in the weeks prior to Christmas, a trader in London said.
The company also has a $615 million bond maturing in 2015.
"The advisers have been appointed, so now we will have to wait to see what proposals they come up with. But bondholders and second lien investors will have to take massive haircuts if there is some decision made to keep the company going with Access putting more money in," the trader said.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer; additional reporting by Natalie Harrison in London; editing by John Wallace)
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