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Mittal to go ahead with Arcelor bid

Mittal says, "It is a creeping takeover done below the current share price of Arcelor", about the Severstal tie-up.

india Updated: May 27, 2006 17:22 IST

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal will press ahead with his bid to acquire Arcelor, despite latest revelations that the Luxembourg-based group plans to merge with Russia's Severstal.

Arcelor on Friday announced that it had agreed to buy Russia's Severstal to create the world's biggest steelmaker, in a 13 billion euro deal giving Severstal head Alexie Mordashov, a 32 per cent stake in Arcelor.

But Mittal said his bid offered better value to Arcelor's shareholders and would create a stronger industrial group.

"We are determined to complete our approach to Arcelor. It is in the interests of all the shareholders and all the parties involved, in both financial and industrial terms," he told French daily Le Figaro on Saturday.

He said, "We are offering to involve (shareholders) in the construction of a European champion, the undisputed world leader. I am convinced they will recognise the strength of our project. This alliance makes obvious sense."

Condemning the Arcelor-Severstal deal, Mr Mittal said, "It is a creeping takeover done below the current share price of Arcelor. If Mr Mordashov wants to take control of Arcelor, he has to launch an offer for the whole of its capital with a premium for shareholders."

"We hope for the most democratic process possible, which offers a real choice to Arcelor shareholders," he added.

The Severstal deal is due to be presented to Arcelor shareholders at a meeting set provisionally at the end of June.

First Published: May 27, 2006 17:22 IST