The board of the steelmaker Arcelor is meeting in Luxembourg to decide whether to back a takeover offer from industry leader Mittal Steel or a rescue plan with Russia’s Severstal. Indian television is reporting that Mittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, and Arcelor have reached an agreement in principle with a merger value of 43 euros per share.
Yesterday the heads of Severstal and Mittal were in Luxembourg, trying to persuade Arcelor of the merits of their rival bids. Severstal’s boss Alexei Mordashov was staying optimistic last night despite speculation that Mittal boss Lakshmi Mittal was raising his offer of 23.2 billion euros. Should Mittal take over Arcelor, a firm capable of producing over 100 million tonnes of steel a day would be created. A source close to Arcelor has said the company will give Severstal a chance to respond to an improved bid by Mittal.