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Mittal Steel better-equipped for more acquisitionsnews
Having emerged the world
29 October 2004

"Through this deal, the new entity will be better placed to create major expansion possibilities," say steel industry analysts with a leading foreign broking firm based in Mumbai.

Earlier in the week, Mittal''s Ispat Interntional had bought over Wilbur Ross''s Ohio-based ISG for a record $17.8 billion. Simultaneously, the Netherlands-based Ispat International, in which Mittal holds 77 per cent shareholding, will buy the Mittal family''s LNM Holdings in a reverse take-over by issuing $13.3bn in shares. The new Mittal Steel will then pay $42 per share in cash and stock to the shareholders of ISG.

Analyst estimate that once this deal completed by the end of the first quarter next year, the group''s market value would be about $21bn.

Mittal Steel will emerge the world''s most spread out steel conglomerate. It is due for listing on the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam with plants spread from Poland to Mexico and Indonesia to South Africa with the likelihood of an entry into India.

Mittal Steel is the largest and the ''most globalised'' steel company in the world and is getting listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam. His empire now stretches from Poland to Mexico and Indonesia to South Africa with the liklihood of an entry into India.

In a recent interview Mittal, who currently has operations in four continents and presence in 14 countries, said that he is considering a foray into India steel sector. Mittal''s plans to enter the Indian steel business will galvanise the domestic market, adding that this could throw up several acquisition opportunities.

"It is an irony, but it is true. We want to do business in India. It is a growing economy," Mittal told the Wall Street Journal, in an interview published on October, 28, 2004.. And what is encouraging him to come to India is what drove him out of the country — government policies. In 1976, Mittal left for Indonesia to start Ispat Indo, a 60,000-ton steel plant. The changes in government policies, which have created a friendly environment for foreign steel-makers to develop partnerships and bring investments are an attractive incentive for the world''s largest steel tycoon to return.

Mittal''s plans to come India are at a time when other global steel players like South Korea''s Posco are planning to set up plants in India, says an analyst from Kotak Securities. "This could lead to fresh capacity creation in the country and large investment in terms of FDI," he added.

Mittal''s Ispat group has been making a series of acquistions in the global markets where it has acquired steel capacities in former communist states in USSR and East Europe. Other acquisitions are also in the pipeline with Mittal showing interest in acquiring Turkey''s largest steel making plant, Eregli Demir Celik, with its privatisation expected early next year.

Also after the recent deal, Mittal, who ranked fifth in the Sunday Times ''rich list'' last year with an estimated fortune of $3.5bn, is now said to be worth $12bn, placing him ahead of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich ($7.5bn) and the Duke of Westminster ($4.9bn).

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Mittal Steel better-equipped for more acquisitions