Billionaire Blavatnik wants Lyondell insurance to pay legal costs

17 September 2009 20:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Billionaire Len Blavatnik wants the insurance policy of Lyondell Chemical to cover his legal expenses in a lawsuit related to the company's bankruptcy, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

Lyondell had requested the court to allow its insurance policy to cover the defence expenses of its directors and officers in a lawsuit filed by a committee representing unsecured creditors.

In the lawsuit, the committee accused the officers of pursuing Lyondell's merger with Basell, a deal that it said drove the company into bankruptcy.

Blavatnik is the chairman of Access Industries, the ultimate parent company of Lyondell. The committee estimated that Blavatnik's net worth exceeds $11bn (€7.5bn).

Blavatnik was named in the creditor suit, along with Lincoln Benet and Philip Kassin, two executives at Access during the time of the merger.

In their motion, Blavatnik and the other executives said it was unfair that the committee is suing them and, at the same time, limiting their access to funds to defend themselves.

As such, they should have access to Lyondell's insurance coverage to pay for defence costs and other losses that could arise from the creditor lawsuit.

The creditor committee requested that Lyondell report how much money that the insurance policy is paying for defence costs. The committee also recommended an initial cap on the initial amount that executives could draw on the policy.

($1 = €0.68)

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By: Al Greenwood
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