LyondellBasell close to binding offer for Brazil's Braskem: sources

(Reuters) - LyondellBasell Industries NV LYB.N is close to presenting a binding offer to acquire control of Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA BRKM5.SA, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

LyondellBasell is discussing the extension of a long-term naphtha supply contract with Petroleo Brasileiro SA PETR4.SA seen as pivotal to valuing Braskem, and talks between the companies are expected to finish over the next days, the sources said, asking for anonymity because talks are private.

A binding offer could be delivered as soon as the end of this month, the people said.

Once a long-term supply contract is established, LyondellBasell is expected to bid for control of Braskem, first through an offer to controlling shareholder Odebrecht SA. Odebrecht, a Brazilian conglomerate involved in the country’s widest-ever corruption probe, has been forced to sell assets over the last two years.

The offer will include cash and shares, the people added. The same value per share would be extended to Petrobras, the Brazilian state-controlled oil company, which is a minority shareholder in Braskem, as well as a supplier.

One of the people said Petrobras is still discussing whether to sell its full stake in Braskem or hold onto shares in the combined company. If concluded, the deal would create the world’s largest petrochemical company.

Odebrecht, LyondellBasell and Petrobras did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on the matter.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Bill Berkrot