No white knight in sight says Arcelor CEO; may meet Mittal in Paris today
03 February 2006Guy Dolle, chief executive, Arcelor SA, has ruled out the possibility of a white knight coming to Arcelor's rescue to help it stave-off Mittal Steel's unsolicited take-over offer in an interview to French newspaper Les Echos.
Dolle was putting at rest mounting speculation of a possible tie-up between Arcelor and Nippon Steel of Japan, the world's third largest steelmaker after Mittal Steel and Arcelor, following his meeting with his counterpart from Nippon earlier this week in Paris.
He also ruled out emptying the company's coffers through a payment of exceptional dividends to unload Arcelor's profits to make it unattractive in order to fend-off the takeover.
He, however has not ruled out talking to L N Mittal. Mittal and Dolle are expected to meet in Paris today during the European steel industry meet.
Last Friday Mittal launched its bid for Arcelor in an attempt to create a merged company with £39billion of sales, 320,000 employees and 115m tons of steel production, leaving Nippon Steel about a third of the size of a combined entity comprising Arcelor and Mittal Steel.