RED BANK, NJ - Millennium Chemicals Inc. said it has offered to sell its 29.5% stake in the Equistar Chemicals L.P. joint-venture business to venture partners Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Lyondell Chemical Co., under the "right of first offer" terms of the Equistar partnership agreement.

The company said it has held exploratory discussions with potential buyers of its Equistar stake, and said the offer to Occidental and Lyondell will "remove the right of first offer hurdle for interested buyers." Occidental owns 29.5% of Equistar, while Lyondell holds a 41% stake. Under terms of the Equistar partnership agreement, Occidental and Lyondell can agree to purchase Millennium's Equistar stake at the offer price. If they decline, Millennium can seek an outside buyer. Equistar is a supplier of olefins, aromatics, oxygenated chemicals, polymers and specialty chemicals.