Arcelor executives oppose Mittal's hostile bid
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Arcelor executives oppose Mittal's hostile bid

Senior executives of Arcelor are supporting the company's future direction, rejecting the hostile $23 bn bid by Mittal Steel.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 19:43 IST

Senior executives of steelmaker Arcelor said on Monday that they support the company's future direction and reject the hostile $23 billion takeover bid by Mittal Steel.

The declaration, after a day of meetings at Arcelor headquarters in Luxembourg, was the latest in the war of words in world No 1 Mittal's attempt to gobble up the No 2 steelmaker.

Rotterdam-based Mittal has claimed that Arcelor shareholders and also some mid-level executives favor the acquisition, but Arcelor says discussions with 50 percent of its shareholders show a "huge majority" oppose it.

After meeting among themselves and with senior management, the Arcelor executives issued a statement which was released through the company's New York publicist late on Monday.

"We, the 350 top executives of Arcelor, fully believe in the Arcelor Plan and are committed to delivering it," it said. "We are convinced that our values of performance, innovation, and respect are the only way to meet the growth and profitability expectations of our shareholders, achieve customer satisfaction, and develop our people.

"We refuse to let the Arcelor Way be diluted by other values and business models. We believe that Arcelor is the only project for Arcelor," they said. "Therefore, we unanimously reject the hostile bid from Mittal Steel."

Last week, Mittal Steel said it had no plans to raise the offer, which it expects to kick off in early April.

Chairman Lakshmi Mittal told reporters the group was in talks with regulators and expected to be able to post the official offer documents in a couple of weeks so that the bid can start in the first 10 to 15 days of April.

The company will also have more talks with governments this week after meeting with the Belgian prime minister and other officials on Wednesday to present a detailed industrial plan.

Mittal's share-and-cash bid proposal for Arcelor values the target at 29.77 euros per share, or 19 billion euros ($22.7 billion) in total. Arcelor stock closed on Monday in Paris at 31.77 euros.

First Published: Mar 14, 2006 11:32 IST