Arcelor postpones EGM

24-08-2006

Steel firm Arcelor has decided to postpone the extraordinary general meeting planned for Wednesday in light of discussions with potential suitor Mittal Steel.

In a statement, Arcelor said the board of directors intended to carry out the Arcelor value plan and distribute €6.5 billion to shareholders as part of the share buyback.

The meeting was due to discuss the proposed buyback, but has now been put on hold while the future of the firm is finalised.

Some irate shareholders perceive the buyback as a way to halt Mittal's €22 billion (£15 billion) hostile takeover offer and pave the way for a deal with Russia's Severstal.

Shareholders have voiced anger at the share buyback plan, claiming it would give Severstal's controlling shareholder, Alexei Mordashov, an increased share of Arcelor.

But Arcelor bosses insist the share buyback is unrelated to the mooted €13 billion deal with Severstal.

Last week, Arcelor's second-largest shareholder, Carlo Tassara International, said it would vote against the buyback.



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