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CSN picks up 13m Corus shares for 471-475 pence

The company now owns 34.07 million shares of Corus, reports Suman Layak.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 06:33 IST

Brazilian company CSN picked up 13.16 million shares of Corus Group Plc on November 17, Friday, through 18 transactions for prices ranging between 471 pence and 475 pence. It was the same day that the company announced it had approached the Anglo-Dutch group with an offer to takeover the company at 475 pence per share.

A company named Supernova Acquisitions Ltd, which is a wholly and indirectly owned subsidiary of CSN, acquired the shares.

This acquisition has taken the shareholding of CSN in Corus Group Plc to 3.79 per cent. The company now owns 34.07 million shares of Corus. These are ordinary shares of a face value of 50 pence per share.

UBS Broking has informed the London Stock Exchange about the transactions on Monday. The CSN executives have already been provided access to the books of accounts of the Corus Group as per takeover codes of the United Kingdom.

The Corus management had supported the bid by the Tatas and had recommended the same to its shareholders. The shareholders are supposed to meet for an extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) on December 4, 2006.

The Brazilian company CSN will have to bring in its offer within the next two weeks to be able to provide an option to the shareholders before the EGM to consider the Tata offer of 455 pence per share.

Meanwhile, there were indications of another rival bid in the offing for Corus from Severstal of Russia. The company has announced that Chris Clark, the current chairman of Associated British Ports Holdings, will be joining the Severstal board as non-executive chairman of the company.

The move is being seen as an attempt by the Russian company to gain better acceptance with financiers and the investing community in the United Kingdom and Europe in preparation for a bid for the Corus Group.

Corus Group shares closed at 495.50 pence on Monday at the London Stock Exchange, after touching a high of 501.99 pence during the day's trade.

Meanwhile, Tata Steel's share price dropped 2.64 per cent, or Rs 12.55 a share, to settle at Rs 463.40 at the Bombay Stock Exchange, after hitting a low of Rs 459 earlier in the day.

First Published: Nov 21, 2006 06:33 IST