RELIANCE ON VERGE OF SEALING MAJOR FOREIGN ACQUISITION

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RELIANCE Industries (RIL), India’s largest private sector company by market capitalisation and sales, is close to announcing a major overseas acquisition.

The likely target is a part of the assets owned by troubled petrochemical major Lyondell-Basell, which is undergoing reorganisation under the protection of a US court. RIL has been eyeing the company after it filed for bankruptcy in January.

If all goes according to plan, RIL is looking to complete the takeover before its annual general meeting on November 17, a source close to the development said. “The intent is certainly to make an announcement on the day of the AGM or very close to it but that depends on how the talks progress,” one person familiar with the transaction said.

A team of senior RIL officials is said to have been camping in New York since September, said a senior banking source. All the people with direct knowledge of the deal spoke on condition of anonymity as the transaction is yet to be consummated.

One banker said the transaction could be around $6 billion and may include both the US and the European assets of Lyondell Bassell.

Earlier reports had referred to a deal of around $3.35 billion for the company’s US assets.

A spokesperson of RIL, said the company was evaluating global opportunities. “Reliance is reviewing a number of global opportunities for growth in its core business. The difficult operating environment of the past year has made available several interesting opportunities, where an investment by a strategic operator of industrial assets can add substantial value.”

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