Company News

LyondellBasell to exit Chap 11 in 1-2 yrs-paper

FRANKFURT, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Petrochemicals group LyondellBasell [ACCEIN.UL], which has filed for bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations, aims to emerge from Chapter 11 proceedings with a sustainable balance sheet within one or two years, its chief executive told a German newspaper.

LyondellBasell -- struggling under $26 billion of debt -- does not plan to file for bankruptcy for its European subsidiaries and aims to avoid a breakup of the group, Volker Trautz told Handelsblatt in an interview published on Monday, which was confirmed by a LyondellBasell spokesman.

The company’s finances have to be overhauled to reflect that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) look set to come in at $2.1 billion in 2009, down from a previous target of about $4 billion, he said.

Demand in the first quarter was likely to be at 70 percent of last year’s level, he said, adding that business forecasts were “extremely difficult” because clients were running down their inventories, masking underlying demand trends.

The company said in a statement last week that none of its subsidiaries outside of the United States had become involved in insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings in their respective home countries. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Rupert Winchester)