Arcelor rejects revised Mittal bid

24-08-2006

Steelmaker Arcelor has confirmed it has rejected a revised takeover offer from rival Mittal Steel.

The company, which has previously resisted attempts by Dutch-based Mittal to acquire it, said that its board had unanimously rejected the hostile bid from its competitor, describing the €22 billion (£15 billion) takeover offer as "inadequate".

"(The) Arcelor board of directors met on Sunday June 11th and unanimously decided to reject Mittal Steel's current revised offer," the company said in a statement.

Luxembourg-based Arcelor claimed that Mittal's bid undervalued the firm and is now urging its shareholders to support a proposed merger with Russian steelmaker Severstal – a plan originally launched to fend off a takeover by Mittal.

It said that a €13 billion-euro plan to buy Severstal represented "a more attractive alternative from a strategic, financial and social point of view" and urged its investors to support the deal proposed by the company's directors at a general meeting on June 30th.

A merger between the two firms would create the world's largest steelmaker with a turnover of €46 billion.

But despite urging shareholders to support the acquisition of Severstal, Arcelor confirmed that its group management board would meet with Mittal to review its proposals "to further improve its offer".

The company rejected an unsolicited €21.5 billion (£14.8 billion) bid by Mittal earlier this year and promised shareholders extra dividends if they rejected the company's overtures.

But some Arcelor shareholders are still believed to prefer the prospect of a Mittal takeover, a move which has received regulatory approval from the European Commission.


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