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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

LUKoil Said to Eye Basell

FRANKFURT -- Saudi Basic Industries, or Sabic, and LUKoil could bid for Basell, a plastics maker owned by BASF and Royal Dutch/Shell, the Financial Times said Tuesday. Shell and German chemical firm BASF said last month that they were reviewing strategic options regarding their 50-50 joint venture.

The newspaper said LUKoil was understood to have expressed an interest in Basell and quoted Sabic as saying there were likely to be moves to acquire production facilities in regions outside the Persian Gulf.

"We are exploring options," Sabic was quoted as saying.

The Financial Times said LUKoil declined to comment, while Shell said all options remained open, including keeping the businesses, an initial public offering or sale.

"On principle we do not comment on speculation," a BASF spokeswoman said.

It was reported last week that private equity firm Blackstone, which acquired German chemical firm Celanese earlier this year, was keen to bid for Basell. An offer memorandum for the sale could go out to interested parties by next month, sources close to the matter have said.

Basell is a leading producer of polypropylene and advanced polyolefin products, and a big supplier of polyethylene and catalysts.