Arcelor blames Mittal for political backlash | india | Hindustan Times
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Arcelor blames Mittal for political backlash

The Luxembourg-based steel maker also said that the final decision over bid rests in the hands of shareholders.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 20:10 IST

Arcelor has stoked up its attack against NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal blaming him for inflaming political opinion against his $22.1 billion bid for the Luxembourg-based steel maker.

Arcelor also asserted that the final decision rests in the hands of the shareholders.

"Mittal paid so many visits to politicians, so why do you think they are getting involved. I saw much fewer politicians," Guy Dolle, Arcelor chief executive, was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

A Mittal spokesman on Thursday denied that Mittal had provoked the politicians, saying "Mittal visited the European politicians to satisfy the concerns they seemed to have after the announcement of the merger offer."

Meanwhile, the Spanish government said it had received details of the takeover plan but judged the information to be insufficient to alleviate doubts about the operation.

Mittal came under fierce attack from France, Luxembourg and Spain after launching his hostile cash-and shares bid for Arcelor in January.

Politicians in each country have made it clear they do not want to let a prize asset, that employs 25,000 Europeans, fall into foreign hands.

Those in Mittal Steel's camp have claimed the protectionist rhetoric from politicians were instigated by Dolle.

Dolle now wants to turn the argument back to value, and claimed he would like the political furore to disappear.

"I have said that the politicians, they have to be quiet. They are not deciding, it's up to the shareholders."