Chirac Says Mittal Takeover Not In Arcelor's Interests

French President Jacques Chirac said Mittal Steel's hostile takeover bid for Arcelor is not in the European firm's best interests but added the dispute is not a problem between India and France. Chirac, in an interview with India Today magazine ahead of a two-day state visit to India, said European opposition to the takeover has "nothing to do with Mr Mittal...it has nothing to do with France and India." Chirac said his country's concern was to defend the interests of the shareholders and the company.

"Again, there is room for debate on questions like differences in corporate cultures between Arcelor and Mittal, or the conditions of the bid," Chirac added, describing the French government as a stakeholder, not a shareholder.

"Given the circumstances of the case, it would appear that it is not in the best interest of the company (Arcelor). It is up to the two companies involved to agree on the terms," he added.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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