Mittal Steel to launch share offer for Arcelor | india | Hindustan Times
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Mittal Steel to launch share offer for Arcelor

Mittal Steel has announced that the company expects to launch an official share offer for its rival Arcelor SA within the next two weeks.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 18:41 IST

The head of Mittal Steel Co announced on Wednesday that his company expects to launch an official share offer for its rival Arcelor SA within the next two weeks.

The cash and stock offer is estimated at some euro 19 billion ($23 billion) and will need the approval of the European Union antitrust office.

"We are expecting that in the next two weeks the regulators will make it official. And then we will have 35 working days for the shareholders to decide," Mittal Steel Co chairman and chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.

He said the company's attempts to protect itself against a takeover was "sinking the business."

Mittal said the offer would stand as it was. "We are not changing our offer. It is already a very attractive offer with the cash and the shares," he said.

He described Arcelor's action to ringfence its new purchase of Dofasco as a "very defensive measure to frustrate our transaction. This is not corporate governance, we believe," he said.

Mittal met with Verhofstadt to discuss the company's surprise offer for Arcelor. Unlike France, Luxembourg and Spain, Belgium has so far not criticised the deal, which would merge the world's two largest steelmakers to create a titan with nearly 10 per cent of global steel production and a market capitalisation close to $40 billion.

Verhofstadt and the leaders of the country's two main regions have said they would not give their views on the tie-up until they had carefully analysed Mittal's business plan for the new company.