Arcelor chief defends payout in radio interview | india | Hindustan Times
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Arcelor chief defends payout in radio interview

Arcelor said this week it would raise its planned ordinary dividend payout to 1.85 euros from 1.20 euros.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 18:56 IST

Arcelor chief Guy Dolle on Saturday defended the company's plan to distribute more than 5 billion euros ($6.10 billion) to shareholders as part of its defense against an expected bid from Mittal Steel Co NV.

"If we have made this proposal to shareholders, in a situation when we are in a kind of combat, it's simply because we have faith in our industrial model," Dolle told France Inter radio in an interview.

"It is only because of our industrial model, our model of durable development, that we have -- and taking into account our balance sheet -- sufficient means to make this expected and hoped for distribution to shareholders," he added.

Arcelor said this week it would raise its planned ordinary dividend payout to 1.85 euros from 1.20 euros and additionally offer shareholders at a later date 5 billion euros in the form of a share buyback, extraordinary dividend or other form.

Arcelor shareholders are due to vote on the plan on April 28. Mittal criticized the proposal, saying it would raise Arcelor's debt to an "excessive" level.