Luxembourg Says New Amendment Won't Affect Mittal's Bid For Arcelor

Luxembourg Treasury Minister Luc Frieden said March 22 that an amended takeover bill would not keep Mittal Steel from pushing ahead with its hostile bid for rival Arcelor. The Luxembourg government, which is Arcelor's biggest shareholder with a 5.6% stake and is opposed to the takeover, is trying to push the bill through parliament despite protectionism criticism.

"Amendments adopted today will not directly affect the takeover underway," Frieden said. "The takeover law conforms to our approach, which is to let the market judge a takeover plan and not politicians," the minister added.

However, members of parliament did not entirely drop a controversial amendment proposed by the country's Chamber of Commerce -- which is headed by Arcelor's number two Michel Wurth.

That amendment would require a company with less than 25% of its capital traded on stock markets to pay for takeover bids in cash.

Only 12% of Mittal's capital is floated on the stock market.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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