Jayanta Mallick

Kolkata, Feb 2

MITTAL Steel does not seem to be perturbed by the possibility of a counter-offer against its bid for Arcelor.

According to sources close to the company, the offer to the shareholders of Arcelor has been priced in such a manner that "it remains not only lucrative but difficult to counter-bid."

The sources also said that Mittal Steel does not perceive any threat of counter-bids from Japan and Korea.

They told

Business Line

today that Mittal Steel was carefully conducting its campaign against the political, ideological, and social "resistance" in Europe.

If a serious counter-bid surfaces, Mittal Steel would definitely "review the viability."

As of now, the $23-billion offer stands unchallenged and unaltered despite strong speculation that Nippon Steel, the third largest steel maker and Arcelor's R&D partner, may join the fray with a counter-bid.

Earlier, Arcelor had billed today's meeting between Nippon Steel and its chiefs as a "routine" one having no bearing on the developments after the takeover bid.

According to global market sources, for the large majority existing stakeholders in Arcelor, Mittal Steel's offer is compelling and unlikely to be countered.

When contacted, officials of overseas funds active in Europe and Japan said that though both Nippon and Mittal Steel are on the same plane as far as EU's competition norms are concerned, it would be difficult for the Japanese company to match the weight of Mittal's offer.

A steel industry analyst said that Nippon Steel's investors might not support deviation of its Asia-centric business strategy. Arcelor, Nippon Steel, and Baoshan Iron and Steel have an operational steel joint venture in China.

Related Stories:
Arcelor bid: Mittal Steel begins campaign to counter opposition
Mittal Steel launches bid for Arcelor $ 22.7-b offer aimed at creating `European consolidation'

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 3, 2006)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.