LyondellBasell to buy back 10% of outstanding shares, hike dividend

LyondellBasell Industries NV will repurchase 10 per cent of its outstanding shares over the next 12 months, under a programme approved by its shareholders and its supervisory board.

The repurchases will be executed from time to time through open market or privately negotiated transactions, the company said in a release on Thursday.

The supervisory board also authorised the company's management board to declare an interim dividend of $0.50 per share, representing an increase of 25 per cent to the company's first quarter 2013 interim dividend. 

The increased interim dividend will be paid on 24 June 2013 to shareholders whose names are in the register as of 3 June 2013, subject to the adoption of a resolution by the management board.

"The 10 per cent share repurchase programme and the significant increase in the regular interim dividend is reflective of our outlook, capital growth programme, strong free cash flow profile and our commitment to returning cash directly to our shareholders via share repurchases and dividends," said chief executive Jim Gallogly.

The amount and timing of future share repurchases and dividends will depend on, and be subject to, market conditions, general economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other corporate considerations, the release said.

''The share repurchase programme and dividend policy may be suspended or discontinued at any time. This share repurchase programme does not obligate LyondellBasell to acquire any particular amount of shares. LyondellBasell had approximately 575 million shares outstanding as of 22 May 2013,'' it added.

The company also announced the appointment of Robert G Gwin as non-executive vice chairman of the supervisory board of directors, with immediate effect.

Gwin will succeed Marvin O Schlanger as chairman of the supervisory board effective 10 September 2013. After that date, Schlanger will continue to serve as a member of the supervisory board.

Gwin, 50, has served on the supervisory board since May 2011.  Gwin is senior vice president, finance and chief financial officer of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. He is also chairman of the board of Western Gas Holdings LLC, the general partner of Western Gas Partners, LP and of Western Gas Equity Holdings LLC, the general partner of Western Gas Equity Partners, LP. 

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. The company manufactures products at 58 sites in 18 countries.