Why did LyondellBasell let Braskem go?

braskem odebrecht

Investors woke up on Tuesday to see the shares of petrochemical company Braskem melting nearly 20 percent after merger talks with LyondellBasell collapsed. But why exactly did the Dutch company give up on an acquisition that would transform it into the global leader of thermoplastic resin? The answer lies in the financial woes of Braskem’s controllers, a disaster in the state of Alagoas and trouble with American securities authorities.

It has been almost a year since exclusive negotiations started. At that time, Braskem shares listed on the São Paulo stock exchange (BRKM5) had their best performance ever in a...

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