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Mittal Steel rejects higher price for Arcelor

Mittal has ruled out raising the price on Arcelor bid as it prepared to present its case to angry European Govts.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 20:15 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Global steel giant Mittal Steel has ruled out raising the price on its $23 billion takeover bid for Arcelor as it prepared to present its case to angry European governments.

"We think our offer is fair, especially because Mittal Steel shares are currently overvalued," Roland Baan, chief executive of Mittal Steel Europe, told reporters during a tour of company sites in the United States on Monday.

"The financial benefits of the merger are very significant," he said, after the world's largest steel group sparked a political storm by launching an 18.6-billion-euro ($22.7 billion) bid for Europe's Arcelor last month.

The Financial Times, quoting stock analysts, said Monday that Mittal Steel would have to raise its offer of 28.21 euros a share by about 20 percent if it wants to win over reluctant Arcelor shareholders.

The hostile bid has provoked anger, particularly in France, whose President Jacques Chirac has railed against the potential impact on jobs at Arcelor.

Paris has demanded a so-called "industrial plan" amid widespread opposition to the takeover of Arcelor, which comprises former national steel interests in France, Luxembourg and Spain. The company also has steel plants in Belgium.

Mittal Steel spokeswoman Nicola Davidson told AFP that the Netherlands-based group run by Indian billionaire Lakshmi Mittal intended to present "key features" of the takeover to the governments concerned this week.

"We will elaborate on these key features and provide further details of our plan in the course of face-to-face meetings which are in the process of being scheduled within the next weeks," she said.

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 10:43 IST

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