Mittal Raises Offer And Has 'Absolute Determination' To Conclude Arcelor Takeover

Mittal Steel is showing "absolute determination" to win control of Arcelor by raising its offer price to 25.8 billion euros US$(32.94 billion), the head of Mittal Steel, Lakshmi Mittal, said here on May 19.

He told reporters: "My belief in this vision remains as powerful as ever and today's results (developments) reflects my absolute determination to bring this transaction to a successful completion."

Earlier on May 19, Mittal Steel raised its hostile offer from an initial bid of 18.6 billion euros.

Mittal Steel, which launched a formal takeover attempt for Arcelor on May 18, said the new offer was worth 34% more per share than the terms of its initial informal offer.

Lakshmi Mittal said: ""From the outset investors responded very positively to the industrial rationale of the merger, as evident in the strong upward-moving share prices of both companies and the sector more generally."

He added: "We have had numerous discussions ... with Arcelor shareholders. They have been enthusiastic from the outset about the industrial logic of the bid.

Mittal said that the improved offer was "the result of improved prospects in the global steel industry and the continued belief that the consolidation will fundamentally alter the value landscape of the global steel industry".

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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