Arcelor-Severstal Eurocentric: Mittal | india | Hindustan Times
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Arcelor-Severstal Eurocentric: Mittal

The Indian steel magnate, who built the world's largest steel producer, denied speculation that he may look to sweeten his bid.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 15:39 IST

Lakshmi Mittal, chief executive of Mittal Steel, says takeover target Arcelor's proposed acquisition of Russia's Severstal would create a company that is too dependent on European demand, according to a newspaper interview.

"One can hardly call the combination of Arcelor and Severstal, with two thirds of its sales in Europe, a global company. As far as scale effects are concerned, it doesn't come close to the advantages a merged Mittal-Arcelor would offer," he told Germany's Die Welt newspaper.

He rebuffed comments that Mittal, itself heavily dependent on demand for commodity steel, needs the deal more than Arcelor, a global leader in technology for high-value steels.

"The truth is Arcelor needs Mittal. Arcelor said it wants to improve its position in the fast-growing emerging markets -- we offer that. Arcelor wants to build up a presence in the United States -- we offer that. Arcelor wants to raise the degree of its vertical integration -- we offer that," he said.

"Alone the company would need years to achieve that which a merger would bring overnight," Mittal continued.

The Indian steel magnate, who built the world's largest steel producer, denied speculation that he may look to sweeten his bid.

"The offer has reached a level at which we believe that it would be accepted with or without the recommendation of the Arcelor management ... there's no reason for a higher priced bid," he said.