Mittal Wants 'Friendly' Talks With Arcelor Over Bid

Mittal Steel boss Lakshmi Mittal said here Jan. 27 he would like to hold "friendly discussions" with Arcelor after his group launched a 18.6 billion-euro (US$22.7 billion)takeover bid for the European steel maker. "I would like friendly discussions with the Arcelor management for whom we have a great respect," he told a press conference shortly after Mittal had announced details of the bid, aimed at bringing together the world's two biggest steel producers.

"We would like to engage them in the dialogue and [hope] that the Arcelor management [will]participate in the joint management." Lakshmi Mittal added that he had approached Arcelor two weeks ago about a takeover, but was brushed off by its chief executive Guy Dolle.

Mittal has agreed to sell leading Canadian steel-maker Dofasco, in the process of being acquired by Arcelor, to Thyssenkrupp of Germany if it succeeds in acquiring Arcelor.

Mittal Steel, of Indian origins, is now the leading world steel group by production volume.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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