Mittal Steel said on March 11 it had obtained approval from U.S. regulators for its acquisition of International Steel Group, clearing a major hurdle in the deal to form the world's largest steel maker. ISG and Mittal will each hold special meetings of their shareholders on April 12 to give final approval to the proposed merger, according to a joint statement.
Mittal Steel, created from Netherlands-based Ispat International which acquired LNM Holdings, will become the world leader in terms of steel shipments outstripping the current world number one, the European consortium Arcelor, according to its chairman Lakshmi Mittal. The group will also be the number one steel group in terms of market capitalization ($18.5 billion) ahead of Japan's Nippon Steel. In 2004, Mittal Steel had revenues of $22.2 billion and steel shipments of 42.1 million tons.
The companies have signed a letter of agreement with the United Steelworkers of America and the Independent Steelworkers Union. The current chairman of ISG, Wilbur Ross, will become a member of the board of directors of Mittal Steel.
Mittal Steel will have operations in 14 countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Germany and eastern Europe and employ 165,000 people.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005