IN THE biggest corporate acquisition planned by an Indian company, Tata Steel Ltd, the country's biggest private steelmaker, has offered $7.7 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) to acquire Anglo-Dutch firm Corus through a negotiated takeover with the aim to create an entity that will take the Tatas to the No. 5 slot in the world's frenetic steel industry.
Corus confirmed on Tuesday that the offer had been made at 455 pence ($8.45) a share, ending speculation on the issue buzzing in the media and markets. The price was below the current price on the London Stock Exchange where Corus is listed.
Tata Steel said in a statement that the offer was a non-binding, all-cash deal with a valuation of $10 billion, including Corus's debt. This is the latest in a series of big-ticket global purchases across industry segments by the group involving companies including Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals and Tata Consultancy Services.
The biggest thus far has been Tata Tea's $677 million for 30 per cent in Energy Brands, a US company that makes enhanced water, a hot-selling health product.
The steel industry is currently led by Mittal-Arcelor, formed by the merger of Indian L.N. Mittal's Dutch-based Mittal Steel Co. with Luxembourg's Arcelor in an industry feeding a huge Asian demand while trying to keep costs low through consolidation.