Mittal may get hold of Arcelor by June

By agencies   |   Monday, 27 February 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: The worldÂ’s largest steel maker by volume, Mittal Steel, owned by London based Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, has said that opposition to its controversial takeover bid of Luxembourg-based Arcelor is coming down.

Also, the whole deal could be finalized 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 realize 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, said on Sunday.
"The reaction is turning more in our favor," he said.

Several countries in Europe, who jointly own Arcelor are apprehensive of the $22 billion merger, worried about the possible job cuts. According to Mittal, the company 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 realize 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.

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