The bitter five-month long takeover battle between steelmakers Arcelor and Mittal could be close to a conclusion. Mittal has confirmed it is in what it calls “advanced and constructive” talks with Arcelor that “may or may not” lead to an agreed offer between them. Sources familiar with the situation said Mittal is likely to raise its 23.2 billion euro bid to win support from Arcelor’s board.
The board was due to meet on Sunday to decide between Mittal’s offer and an alternative deal to buy Russian steel group Severstal. Mittal and Arcelor are the world two largest steel makers. Together they would have 10% of global production in what is a very fragmented industry.
The Luxembourg government – which holds just 5.6% of Arcelor’s shares – is likely to agree to whatever the board recommends. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker had initially led outspoken opposition to Mittal’s takeover effort, vowing a hostile response to a hostile bid.