Just three months after Mittal completed its takeover of Arcelor, founder Lakshmi Mittal has been named chief executive officer of the merged company. He replaces Roland Junck, a long time Arcelor executive, who only took on the post in August. The change puts Mittal clearly in control of the world’s largest steel company, with his son Aditya in the second most powerful position, as chief financial officer. The Mittal family will be the merged group’s top shareholder, with 43% of its capital.
At the same time, Arcelor Mittal announced a greater than expected increase in third-quarter net profit due to a strong rise in steel prices which compensated for seasonally low output.
The group – which produces around 10% of the world’s steel – said combined sales were by 53% at 22.9 million tonnes; the turnover increased by 37% to 17.3 billion euros producing profit that was 75% higher than in the same period last year at 1.71 billion euros.
Shares in both Mittal and Arcelor fell in reaction to the change at the top, but also because the company issued a warning that its profits in the fourth quarter may be lower than in the third.
The so-called merger of equals occurred only after a long and bitter battle. It is due to be completed by next April or May.