Arcelor To Quit Paris Stock Market Until Outcome Of Mittal Offer

Arcelor is to be temporarily removed from the CAC 40 and SBF-120 exchanges in Paris at the end of trade on June 16 for technical reasons related to Mittal Steel's offer for the group, Euronext said June 14. It said its expert commission took the decision "for strictly technical reasons."

"It is intended to prevent any threat to the normal completion of arbitrage operations, notably on the CAC 40 index, during the offer, and does not in any way assume any particular outcome for the operation under way," it said in a statement.

Arcelor on June 13 again vaunted its controversial plans to merge with the Russian group Severstal, a day after formally rejecting Mittal Steel's bid while signaling that it might welcome an improved offer. Mittal Steel responded by dismissing claims that an Arcelor-Severstal merger would deliver shareholder value and said Arcelor would "sell itself at a discount to an inferior partner" if the merger was pushed through.

Arcelor's board is encouraging shareholders to back its plans to merge with Severstal. The issue will go to a vote in Luxembourg, the company's headquarters, on June 30 and can only be rejected if 50% of Arcelor's shareholders turn up and vote against it.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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