Despite US$1.4 bln excess cash, LyondellBasell has no spending plans

Due to better than expected business, LyondellBasell Industries NV has about US$4.4 bln of liquidity available, more than the US$3 bln deemed appropriate in its plan for exiting bankruptcy. The company that emerged from bankruptcy in April, has about US$1.4 bln more cash and equivalents than planned, with no plans to decide how to spend it. The company has generated excess cash partly because the reduction of debt during the restructuring process has cut annual interest payments by US$1.7 bln and the elimination of 3,000 employees and plant closings has decreased fixed costs by US$1 bln. The new board has met once and will decide in the coming months on changes to the capital structure, how much cash to hold and what to do with the rest, Chief Executive Officer Jim Gallogly said. LyondellBasell, based in Rotterdam and run from Houston, was created by Access Industries Holdings LLC’s US$5.7 bln purchase of Basell Holdings BV in 2005 and its US$12.2 bln purchase of Lyondell Chemical Co. in 2007. The combined company sought bankruptcy protection in January 2009 when its US$1 bln of cash ran out amid plummeting prices and demand for oil and chemicals and frozen credit markets.
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