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NRI Mittal, steel tycoon now owns 92% of Arcelor


UK, July 26, 2006
NRI press
Rajiv Sharma

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.

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NRI, Lakshmi N Mittal is the world's third-richest person, behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

  • Worth 14.8 billion pounds is richest Asian in Britain.