LyondellBasell Industries NV advanced the most in seven weeks in New York trading after the chemical maker’s former owner, Access Industries Holdings LLC, announced plans to buy $956.8 million of company stock.
LyondellBasell, based in Rotterdam and run from Houston, rose $1.01, or 2.9 percent, to $36.25 as of 12:20 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares earlier climbed 3.8 percent, the biggest intraday gain since Nov. 19.
Access plans to buy 34.2 million shares of LyondellBasell for $28 each by the end of the month under a Dec. 14 contract with Bank of America Corp., New York-based Access said in a regulatory filing. The purchase will boost Access’s stake to 90.4 million shares, or 16 percent of stock outstanding.
LyondellBasell is benefiting from low-cost natural gas, used as a raw material at its U.S. chemical plants, relative to the oil typically used in Europe and Asia. Profit will rise as economies recover and the pace of rivals’ plant additions slows, said Hassan Ahmed, a New York-based analyst at Alembic Global Advisors.
“The fact that Access is adding to their stake at these levels shows that their view of the cycle is similar to mine, which is that the best is yet to come,” Ahmed said today in a telephone interview. He rates the shares “buy.”
David Harpole, a LyondellBasell spokesman, declined to comment on the transaction when contacted today by phone. Stan Neve, an outside spokesman for closely held Access with Brunswick Group Inc., didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
Access, controlled by Len Blavatnik, created LyondellBasell with the $5.7 billion purchase of Basell Holdings BV in 2005 and its $12.2 billion purchase of Lyondell Chemical Co. in 2007. The combined company sought bankruptcy protection in January 2009 when credit markets froze and its cash ran out amid plummeting prices and demand for oil and chemicals.
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