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The Independent: BP’s Russian oligarch buys Shell plastics joint venture for £3bn

The Independent: BP’s Russian oligarch buys Shell plastics joint venture for £3bn

By Michael Harrison Business Editor

06 May 2005

A consortium led by one of the Russian oligarchs with whom BP has teamed up paid £3bn yesterday for a plastics joint-venture owned by Shell and BASF after the sale of the business to an Iranian company fell foul of US political pressure.

Basell, the world’s top polypropylene producer, is being bought by Access Industries, a New York-based business run by Len Blavatnik, and the Chatterjee Group, a private US investment company with extensive interests in India. read more

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Basell sold in €4.4bn deal

Financial Times: Basell sold in €4.4bn deal

By James Boxell

Published: May 6 2005

Royal Dutch/Shell and BASF have sold their plastics joint venture, Basell, for €4.4bn ($5.7bn) to a consortium led by Access Industries of the US and India’s Chatterjee Group.

Access is controlled by Leonard Blavatnik, the Russian billionaire investor, while Chatterjee owns Haldia Petrochemicals of India. The consortium beat a rival bid from Iran’s National Petrochemical Company, which said it had lost because of opposition from the US government to a deal. The purchase price includes €2.2bn of debt. read more

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Daily Telegraph: Iran loses race for Basell due to US pressure

Daily Telegraph: Iran loses race for Basell due to US pressure

By Malcolm Moore (Filed: 06/05/2005)

Shell and BASF yesterday gave in to pressure from the United States and decided not to sell the world’s largest maker of polypropylene to Iran. 

Instead, Basell, which makes the plastic which is used from everything from DVD cases to yoghurt pots, was sold for €4.4billion (£3billion) to Haldia, an Indian chemicals company. Haldia is backed by Purnendu Chatterjee, an Indian entrepreneur, and Leonard Blavatnik, a Russian oil billionaire.

Until yesterday, the Iranian state oil company was leading the race for Basell. However, a promise not to include Basell’s Louisiana plant in the deal was not enough to placate stiff US opposition. read more

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Shell ‘no comment’ on US blocking NPC purchase

IranMania.com: Shell ‘no comment’ on US blocking NPC purchase 

Friday, May 06, 2005

LONDON, May 6 (IranMania) – Shell insisted Thursday that it was unable to comment on reports that it had backed out of a $4 bln and 400 mln deal to sell a major Dutch chemical business to Iran because of US pressure.

“The process is subject to commercial confidentiality. We cannot comment,” a Shell spokeswoman told IRNA with regard to the bid by Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) bid for Basell, which the Anglo-Dutch company joint owns with Germany’s Basf. read more

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US ‘forced’ Shell and BASF to reject bid from Iran

THE TIMES: US ‘forced’ Shell and BASF to reject bid from Iran

5 May 2005

By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

SHELL and BASF succumbed to pressure from Washington when they turned down a €4.4 billion (£3 billion) Iranian bid for Basell, their chemicals joint venture, said the managing director of Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC).

Mohammed Reza Nematzadeh blamed the decision by Shell and BASF not to proceed with the offer on intense lobbying by US officials anxious to keep up the pressure on Iran to drop its nuclear fuel programme. “Although NPC won all aspects of the Basell tender, due to US pressures we are unofficially told Iran cannot buy Basell,” Mr Nematzadeh told ISNA , the Iranian news agency. read more

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Access close to €4bn deal for Basell

Financial Times: Access close to €4bn deal for Basell

By Lina Saigol and James Boxell in London and Najmeh Bozorgmehr,in Tehran

Published: May 5 2005

Access Industries, the private equity group controlled by Leonard Blavatnik, the Russian billionaire, is close to acquiring Basell in a deal that could value the plastics group at up to €4bn ($5.2bn).

Access, which has teamed up with Haldia Petrochemicals of India, was last night finalising the details of the deal, which could be announced as early as today.

Basell is owned jointly by Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch energy group, and BASF, the German chemicals company. read more

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The Guardian: US lobbying scuppers Shell sale to Iran

The Guardian: US lobbying scuppers Shell sale to Iran

Terry Macalister

Thursday May 5, 2005

Shell appears to have bowed to American pressure and backed out of a $4.4bn (£2.3bn) plan to sell a chemical business to Iran, for fear of damaging its extensive US interests.

The oil group had been in final talks with Iran’s National Petrochemical Company about Basell – the world’s largest producer of plastic polypropylene, which is owned 50-50 by Shell and Germany’s BASF.

The Iranians said yesterday that their planned purchase had been blocked, just 24 hours after the country vowed to push ahead with its nuclear activities. “Although NPC won all aspects of the Basell tender, due to US pressures we are unofficially told Iran cannot buy Basell,” said Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, managing director of NPC, in an interview with the ISNA news agency in Tehran. The sale of the chemical operation is an important part of a Shell strategy to dispose of up to $15bn worth of assets as it restructures following the oil reserves scandal last year. read more

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell, BASF Near Plastics-Venture Sale

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell, BASF Near Plastics-Venture Sale

By JASON SINGER

Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

May 4, 2005; Page A20

Royal Dutch/Shell Group and BASF AG of Germany are close to agreeing on the sale of their joint plastics venture — a giant manufacturer of basic materials used in everything from diapers to auto parts — to an Indian group for more than €4 billion ($5.14 billion), according to people familiar with the matter.

Under terms being discussed, a consortium led by Haldia Petrochemicals, based in Calcutta, would buy Basell NV, transferring ownership of a global company that is integral in the manufacturing processes of thousands of household items. read more

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ExpressIndia.com: Iran says expects to win bid to buy Basell

ExpressIndia.com: Iran says expects to win bid to buy Basell

Reuters

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Tehran, May 1: Iran said it was better-placed to buy polymer joint venture Basell than its Indian rivals and expects to be the final winner in the sale process, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.  

BASF and Shell are set to decide within days on the sale of Basell to Iran’s National Petrochemical Company (NPC) or to a set of Indian investors.

If successful, it would be the biggest commercial investment abroad by Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. read more

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Royal Dutch Shell News Tuesday, 22 February 2005

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Shell sale poised to set record

The Independent: Shell sale poised to set record

“Analysts say that Shell would use the proceeds to invest in its upstream operations, in particular to boost its flagging oil and gas reserves.”

12 September 2004

Private equity firms ready to splash out for €6bn plastics venture. Tim Webb reports

The sale by Shell and BASF of their €6bn (£4.1bn) plastics joint venture is set to turn into Europe’s largest private equity deal to date.

Bankers expect private equity groups to figure prominently in the auction for Basell. The sale, one of the biggest ever seen in the chemicals industry, is being formally launched this week. Trade buyers could face competition issues, making a private equity buyout more likely, industry sources said. read more

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BASF warns of research transfer abroad if GMO law amendment goes ahead

Die Welt – Germany: BASF warns of research transfer abroad if GMO law amendment goes ahead

“BASF, the German chemicals giant, is hoping to sell off Basell, its joint venture with the Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell, and to complete the transaction in the first half of 2005.”

Sep 03, 2004

BASF, the German chemicals giant, is hoping to sell off Basell, its joint venture with the Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell, and to complete the transaction in the first half of 2005.

Basell manufactures preliminary products for plastics, and is valued at around 6bn euros. Options for the sale include the stock market, an acquisition by a rival company or by an investment group.

The management of BASF is threatening to transfer its genetic technology research activities abroad if the planned amendment to legislation regarding genetically modified plants is introduced in Germany, although a short-term decision regarding a transfer is not planned. The amendment would establish strict liability regulations, a register of sites and growing standards for the cultivation of genetically modified plants in the vicinity of GMO-free crops. read more

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Daily Telegraph: City Briefs: Shell view

Daily Telegraph: City Briefs: Shell view

Shell and BASF will raise between $3.5billion and $7billion if they sell their polyolefins chemicals business, which is under review. Shell said “any action will be taken by the middle of 2005”.

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Financial Times: BASF/Shell to sell chemicals unit for $7bn

Financial Times: BASF/Shell to sell chemicals unit for $7bn

By David Firn, Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Correspondent

Posted 6 August 04

BASF and Shell will put their Basell petrochemicals joint venture up for sale later this month, in what is expected to be one of the biggest chemicals auctions to date.

Basell, which makes polyolefins the building blocks for many plastics is valued at up to €6bn ($7.2bn). The potential sale of Basell is one of several transactions planned in the oil industry as BP and Total also take advantage of the upturn in commodity chemicals to sell non-core assets. read more

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The Times: Shell and BASF set to sell $6bn plastics business

The Times: Shell and BASF set to sell $6bn plastics business

“first strategic move for the Anglo-Dutch oil company since becoming mired in its oil reserves scandal in January.”

By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

July 30, 2004

SHELL and BASF, the German chemical company, are preparing to sell Basell, a $6 billion (£3.3 billion) global plastics business, marking the first strategic move for the Anglo-Dutch oil company since becoming mired in its oil reserves scandal in January.

Shell’s plan to cut its exposure to the chemicals sector emerged as the oil company announced second-quarter profits of $3.8 billion — a 16 per cent increase on 2003. The figures include a strong improvement in its refining and chemicals profits, but a weak result from the upstream oil production business, which suffered a 3 per cent fall in profits despite the exceptionally high oil price. read more

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