RIL raises Rs 2675 crore by selling 25.85 mln treasury stocks to LIC

06-Jan-10
Reliance Industries has raised Rs 2,675 crore by selling 25.85 mln treasury stocks to state-owned Life Insurance Corporation, which is the largest institutional shareholder in the company with a 6% stake. This move is viewed by many as an attempt to build its reserve to buy the bankrupt petrochemical major LyondellBasell. As the prospects of a global economic recovery brighten for even bankrupt companies, prospective buyers may have to pay more than anticipated. The treasury stocks were created 8 years ago following the merger of Reliance Petroleum with RIL. RIL holds another 343 mln treasury stocks, valued at nearly US$8 bln at the current market price, and cash and cash equivalents worth US$4.65 bln. RIL had submitted a non-binding bid to buy a controlling stake in LB of around US$12 bln when it had first made public its intention to buy the bankrupt petrochemical company. Subsequently, Lyondell submitted a revised plan on December 24 to the bankruptcy court in the US, involving a US$2.8 bln rights share sale and conversion of about US$18 bln debt into equity, which analysts believe may force RIL to raise its bid beyond the estimated US$12 bln. The unsecured creditors of LB have opposed the reorganisation plan, which keeps the doors open for RIL. The deadline for other stakeholders to challenge the reorganisation plan is Tuesday, but RIL can’t oppose. RIL had started back-room discussions with the secured and unsecured creditors of Lyondell as it finalises an official financial bid.
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