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Mittal fears obstacles in Arcelor bid

This happened as Luxembourg's Trade Minister headed for India to explain his Govt's opposition to Mittal's Arcelor bid.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 19:31 IST

The NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has said he was worried about the "obstacles" being created by the European country's Chamber of Commerce to scupper the deal.

This happened as Luxembourg's Trade Minister headed for India to explain his government's opposition to LN Mittal's takeover bid for steel major Arcelor.

"I am really worried about the obstacles that Arcelor's management and the Luxembourg's Chamber of Commerce are confronting us with," Mittal told the Belgian press this weekend.

Mittal Steel, the world's largest steel producer, had made a $22.7 billion bid for Arcelor, attracting the ire of many European governments.

Mittal also criticised Arcelor's prospects, saying it "has not been able to grow its business in the high-growth market."

"They are not in the higher-growth market, which is central and eastern Europe. They do not have the vertical integration, they do not have access to cheaper raw materials... Plus their strategy on stainless steel has failed."

Mittal said he was confident that "at the end of the day shareholders will make the right decision", and "we should be completing the merger before the end of June".

"Since it was announced, the transaction has created value of more than 7.5 billion Euros for shareholders in both companies (through the rise in stock prices)," he said.

Mittal ruled out an all-cash bid, claiming that Arcelor shareholders would be happy to take just a quarter of the bid in cash.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 18:29 IST