Reliance hikes offer for LyondellBasell to $13.5 billion

Reliance Industries Ltd has upped its offer for a controlling stake in LyondellBasell Industries that values the bankrupt chemicals firm at $13.5 billion, according to a Reuters report that cites a source familiar with the situation.

But according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the sweetened offer, Reliance's offer has been rejected by Lyondell's board.

According to the report which cited people familiar with the matter, Reliance now probably can make a fresh offer until February.

The Wall Street Journal says a restructuring plan proposed by Lyondell to keep the company independent would, by comparison, value it at about $15.5 billion.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection last January after being unable to meet its debt obligations on falling demand for petrochemical products during the global economic downturn.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that Reliance, India's biggest conglomerate, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, had sent Lyondell a letter in late December with the raised offer. (See: RIL raises offer for LyondellBasell by $5-6 billion: report)