Mittal, steel tycoon
now owns 92%
UK, July 26, 2006
NRI, Lakshmi Mittal,
London-based steel magnate, the world's largest steel
maker, said Wednesday that 92% of Arcelor shareholders
have accepted its offer for the Luxembourg-based group,
drawing a line under the six-month takeover saga.
"I am delighted at this result,
which is a resounding endorsement of the strategic
logic and value of the merger of Mittal Steel and
Arcelor, a truly industry-transforming deal,"
Mittal Chairman Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement.
Mr. Mittal fought for months to win
over investors to its strategy. It officially launched
its hostile offer on Arcelor at the end of January,
only to be snubbed a few months in favor of Russia's
Severstal. Mittal prevailed after energetic lobbying
and a sweetened offer
The sources said that the deal, which
values Arcelor at about 25.4 billion euros ($32.4
billion), would create a group with 32,000 employees
and the largest steel production in the world. The
combined company will be three times bigger than its
nearest rival, Japan's Nippon Steel Corp.
According to the sources, 594.5 million
Arcelor shares and 19.9 million Arcelor convertible
bonds had so far been tendered, representing 91.88%
of the group's fully diluted share capital. As part
of the takeover terms, Mittal has issued 665.6 million
shares and paid 7.77 billion euros in cash to the
holders of the tendered Arcelor stock.
NRI, Lakshmi Mittal said a
new offer period for remaining shares to be tendered
will start July 27 and end Aug. 17. There will be
a further sell-out period for minority holders under
Luxembourg law between Aug. 18 and Nov. 17.
Arcelor has already paid a 140 million-euro breakup
fee to Severstal, though several issues remain. Among
them, the new group must choose a chief executive
and find a compromise on the future of Canadian unit
Dofasco. Arcelor shares jumped 7% in Paris. Mittal
shares rose 4.6% in Amsterdam. Also see Europe Markets.