Corus Group on Tuesday postponed a shareholders’ meeting that was expected to take a call on competitive bidding to acquire it by Tata Steel and Brazilian steel maker CSN. The meeting was slated for Wednesday.
The announcement came on a day when Britain’s takeover watchdog set a January 30 deadline for Tatas and CSN to end the bidding process.
Citing relevant rules, the takeover panel said in an announcement on London Stock Exchange that if a competitive situation continues to exist till shortly before January 30, an auction procedure would be implemented.
Any revised offer that comes “shortly before January 30" would have to go through the auction process, the terms of which will be determined by the takeover panel executive.
In the event of an auction, each bidder would be given a day to make an offer, followed by an opportunity to the other the next day till one drops out.
The auction route has been used only in three-four occasions in the past and the winner decided in less than a week of the process.
To acquire Corus, Tatas have already made a revised bid of 9.1 billion dollars that was countered by CSN with a 9.7 billion dollar offer on December 11.
While CSN made its information document on the counter offer public last Friday by submitting it to Corus shareholders, Tatas, according to banking sources, had availed
of the 46 days period for technical evaluation of the rival’s bid before taking a decision.