Lakshmi Mittal: Steel In Early Stages Of Renaissance

Even as his company continues its pursuit of France's Arcelor, Lakshmi N. Mittal, chairman and CEO of Mittal Steel Co., is thinking bigger. Specifically, Mittal envisions a world in which the large, global steel producers will have annual capacity of 150 to 200 million tons. In 2005, Mittal Steel's output was 49.2 million tons.

"Scale is a crucial ingredient in the pursuit of value," he told an international steel conference in New York this week. "Value is the aim -- and scale is the means -- not the only means, but an important part of the mix," he said.

The "winning business model of the future" -- and by future he means the year 2015 --"will be based around [steel] industry leaders considerably larger than they are today," Mittal stated. And, he added, "these same companies will be embedded in both high-growth and high-value markets, spanning a range of products from commodity to higher value-added.

Coming back to value creation, Mittal claimed that the steel industry has disappointed its shareholders for too many years. "This I am determined to change," he said. "Shareholders must be at the heart of this business vision. It is not enough that we come to conferences and congratulate ourselves on progress made."

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