Arcelor poised to snub Mittal again

The board of the steel group Arcelor is today expected to announce the rejection of an improved offer from Mittal Steel.

Arcelor held a board meeting yesterday to formally discuss Mittal's €26bn (£17.8bn) bid, made last month. The bid was an improvement on the initial approach made in January.

Arcelor directors also considered their response to a revolt among the company's own shareholders over its alternative €13bn "white knight" deal to buy Russian group Severstal instead.

"I arrive with a very positive state of mind," board member Fernand Wagner told reporters on his way into the meeting at Arcelor's Luxembourg HQ.

Separately, it emerged yesterday that Alexei Mordashov, the Russian tycoon who owns Severstal, has personally written to Arcelor shareholders urging that they accept a tie-up between the two companies.

A meeting will be held on 28 June for Arcelor investors to vote on the Severstal transaction.

However, a group of rebels are furious that, under the rules adopted, the deal can only be stopped if more than 50 per cent of the entire issued share capital of the Luxembourg group votes against it.

The dissident shareholders, who account for 30 per cent of Arcelor, want to hold an extraordinary general meeting to change the voting process on the Severstal deal.

So far, the Arcelor board's tactic has been to concede the fact that the rebels are entitled to call an EGM, while insisting that the event take place after the vote on the transaction - rendering the EGM irrelevant.

The concerned shareholders have threatened legal action against individual Arcelor directors over the issue.

They have also said that, if the 28 June meeting goes ahead, they will vote at the event for a postponement.

The scheduled meeting on the Severstal deal also comes before the 5 July closing date for the Mittal offer - another cause of frustration for the rebels, and also the Mittal camp.

It is unclear whether Mittal will keep a minority stake in Arcelor if it fails to get more than 50 per cent. In a further twist of voting tactics, Mittal could deploy its minority stake at a future Arcelor EGM in conjunction with the company's rebel shareholders.

Rotterdam-based Mittal, majority owned by the billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, and Arcelor are the two largest steel companies in the world. A merger would create a powerhouse capable of producing more than 100 million tonnes of steel a year. It would have revenues of almost £40bn and a workforce of 320,000, but Arcelor has consistently resisted advances from Mittal and has said a deal with Severstal represents better value for shareholders.

A tie-up with Severstal would give the combined company sales of £31bn and production of 70 million tonnes of steel a year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine