Financial Authorities Clear Mittal's Plans To Bid For Arcelor

Belgian, French and Luxembourg financial authorities have approved Mittal Steel's plans to launch a takeover bid for rival Arcelor, the Belgian regulator said May 16.

Mittal would officially open its bid on May 18 and it would run until June 29, Belgium's stock market watchdog said.

Mittal, the biggest steelmaker worldwide in terms of volume, originally announced plans to takeover Arcelor in January in a deal which is currently worth around 22 billion euros (US$28 billion).

Arcelor, the world's second-biggest steel producer behind Mittal, was formed in 2002 by a merger of French steel group Usinor with Spanish company Aceralia and Luxembourg's Arbed but it also has big operations in Belgium. The Belgian, French and Luxembourg regulators worked in close collaboration with Spanish authorities, which were due to approve the Spanish version of Mittal's takeover plans "shortly after May 16", the Belgian watchdog said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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