Mittal may get hold of Arcelor by June
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Mittal may get hold of Arcelor by June

According to Mittal Steel, opposition to its controversial takeover bid of the Luxembourg-based firm is softening.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 11:39 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Mittal Steel, owned by NRI steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, has said that opposition to its controversial takeover bid of Luxembourg-based Arcelor is softening.

Also, the whole deal could be finalised by the end of June after approval from European regulators and the shareholders of the company.

"There has been a reduction in terms of the negative reaction to this offer as governments have begun to realise the strategic rationale, the industrial rationale (and) what Mittal Steel is about, what Mittal Steel wants to do with Arcelor," President of Mittal Steel, Aditya Mittal, told reporters in Chicago on Sunday.

"The reaction is turning more in our favour," he said.

Several countries in Europe are apprehensive of the $22 billion merger, worried that this could lead to job cuts.

According to Mittal, also the chief financial officer of the company, it will start sharing post-merger plans with the countries involved this week.

Mittal also stressed that the Arcelor acquisition will be good for companies and their shareholders as this will result in more growth opportunities for the industry.

"We expect as we share with them the industrial plan and the strategic plan, they will become more and more understanding of what we're trying to propose and realise that it's actually a great thing for Arcelor and a great thing for the steel industry," Mittal said.

The plan comes at a time when efforts have been stepped up by Arcelor to shelve the merger designs laying out reasons why the deal should be blocked.

Arcelor shareholders have been told already that a Mittal acquisition would not only dilute value but also threaten shareholder interests and undermine future prospects of the stock.

Mittal USA has also rejected the suggestion that the proposed mega-merger will have an impact in the United States by way of higher steel prices. Mittal that has Chicago as its American headquarters runs steel mills in Ohio and Indiana.

"We have a commitment as a company to say we're not going to disadvantage any customer of ours on the price front," said Lou Schorsch, CEO of Mittal Steel USA.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 11:26 IST