Mittal's bid for Arcelor rejected

Published on Jan 30, 2006 07:16 PM IST

The Luxembourg-based company has rejected Lakshmi Mittal's #12.7billion bid, reports Nabanita Sircar.

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None | ByNabanita Sircar, London

The Luxembourg-based company has rejected Lakshmi Mittal's £12.7billion bid for Arcelor. Mittal is to meet French ministers today amid concerns about his firm's bid approach. Both firms will try to put their case across in Paris.

Mittal is to meet Thierry Breton, the French finance minister, who has expressed "surprise" at the bid. Fears have been expressed that a deal may hurt Arcelor's 28,000 French staff.

In the past, the French government has protected businesses in sensitive areas of the economy, such as defence, from falling into foreign hands. Even though Arcelor is not a French company, its shares are listed in Paris and it has a large French workforce.

On Sunday Breton said that he was "very surprised" about the unsolicited nature of Mittal Steel's bid for Arcelor. "I was not surprised that, in these conditions, modern management rules led the board to reject this bid unanimously," Breton told La Chaine Info television channel in France.

Breton is expected to seek assurances from Mittal about the impact on French jobs of any possible takeover. Breton has already spoken at length with Guy Dolle, Arcelor's chief executive, about the company's future.

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