TPG, Sinopec Deny LyondellBasell Report

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asia’s top oil refiner China Petroleum and Chemical Corp and U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital are not considering a bid to buy bankrupt chemical company LyondellBasell Industries, said a source close to the situation on Wednesday.

“That’s completely incorrect,” said the source, commenting on a Bloomberg report that the oil refiner and the U.S. private equity firm were weighing a bid for LyondellBasell. 

A spokesman for Sinopec (0386.HK), the publicly listed unit of China Petroleum, denied that his company was considering such a bid.

It was not immediately clear whether the Bloomberg report referred to publicly listed Sinopec or its state-owned parent.

According to the report, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp and TPG had considered a bid for LyondellBasell Industries that could rival Reliance Industries (RELI.BO) offer of about $12 billion.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, the Bloomberg report said Sinopec and TPG reviewed LyondellBasell’s finances and discussed making a joint bid.

Indian energy company Reliance made a cash offer for Lyondell that sources said was worth $10 billion to $12 billion over the weekend. 

Since filing for bankruptcy protection last January, LyondellBasell has been working to reorganise its operations and assuage unsecured creditors, who are suing the banks and other creditors who put together the company’s 2007 leveraged buyout in a trial slated to start next month.

LyondellBasell has said it would consider the Reliance offer as a “potential alternative” to maximise investor returns.

(Reporting by Alison Lui and George Chen; Editing by Chris Lewis)