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Arcelor to re-examine Mittal bid

The European steel giant said it would reconsider the Mittal offer if it were made exclusively in cash.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 17:15 IST

The European steel giant Arcelor, target of a takeover bid by Mittal Steel, told its shareholders on Friday it would reconsider the offer if it were made exclusively in cash.

"If Mittal made an offer exclusively in cash, the board of directors would of course reconsider its position" against the bid, Arcelor chairman Joseph Kinsch said at the group's annual general meeting in Luxembourg.

"We are not at all stopping Mittal from improving its offer. If this is the case, the shareholders will study it and decide whether or not to tender their shares," he said.

Kinsch also said Arcelor had no plans to launch a share capital increase solely with a view to making the hostile takeover bid from Mittal Steel more expensive.

"The board of directors will take no measure whose aim is to scupper Mittal's offer," he told the gathering.

"It does not intend to launch a capital increase with the only goal of countering an offer," although he maintained that a capital hike could be launched in order to pursue "a value-creating industrial project."

"Arcelor is actively examining alternative strategies. Numerous opportunities are open to the company and its shareholders."

Arcelor's board has repeatedly said it would refuse Mittal's $23-billion cash and share bid in its current form.

First Published: Apr 28, 2006 20:31 IST