Steel deal clinched, says Mittal
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Steel deal clinched, says Mittal

Despite opposition from European countries, Mittal Steel is confident of taking over steelmaker Arcelor.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 03:08 IST
HT Corporate Bureau
HT Corporate Bureau

Despite opposition from some European countries, Mittal Steel is confident of taking over steelmaker Arcelor.

In fact, the company claims to have received the support of the Luxembourg government and a major shareholder in Arcelor to clinch the deal for $22.7 billion.

Aditya Mittal, chief financial officer, Mittal Steel, however, said on Wednesday he was not in a position to reveal the names of these shareholders.

Refusing to increase its bid offer, Mittal Steel said it was confident the existing offer was the best for the shareholders of Arcelor and Mittal Steel.

In London, before presenting his company's results for the fourth quarter and the full year, Lakshmi N. Mittal, chairman and CEO, Mittal Steel, made a special mention of the Arcelor deal.

“In the past few days, our discussions with the Arcelor shareholders and government have been very positive,” he said.

"The politicians too realise that it's a merger of two European countries and they want to have a very fair view of the whole situation and have appointed investment bankers.”

Aditya Mittal said: “We’ve met a considerable number of (Arcelor) shareholders. We estimate it at between 30 and 40 per cent of the shareholder base. The response is positive.”

Meanwhile, India has warned the European Commission that attempts to thwart Mittal Steel’s acquisition of Arcelor violated the EU’s commitment to WTO to accord national treatment to cross-border investment.

Taking up the matter with EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday said this was really a question of cross-border investment having national treatment. Nath is also understood to have written a letter to PM Manmohan Singh ahead of French President Jacques Chirac’s visit, when the issue could come up for discussion.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 01:22 IST