Mordashov yet to decide on his Arcelor move

Mumbai: Severestal''s Alexei Mordashov, who made an unsuccessful bid for a stake in the world''s second-largest steel maker Arcelor SA, is yet to make up his mind on his next course of option. A day before the crucial meeting of Arcelor shareholders, the Russian steel magnate is still pondering whether to raise his bid or not.

Earlier this week, Arcelor''s board of directors agreed to a merger with the world''s largest steel maker, Mittal Steel, ending a five-month battle for control, leaving its favoured suitor Severestal out in the cold.

"There is still no decision," a Severstal spokeswoman said in Paris a day after Mordashov told French parliamentarians he would like to make an additional offer for Arcelor. Mordashov, however, said he was not sure of arranging the finances.

Russian newspaper Vedomosti, meanwhile quoted two unnamed sources with knowledge of Severstal''s plans as saying that Mordashov would rather accept the €140 million ($176 million) compensation than counter the offer for Arcelor by Mittal Steel.

Reports also said Mordashov is yet to receive any backing from Russia''s richest man, Roman Abramovich, whom Russian media had earlier cited as a possible backer of a higher bid.

Meanwhile, Mittal and Arcelor are still at odds over the future of Dofasco, the Canadian steel producer Arcelor grabbed in a hostile take-over for $4.86 billion on January 24, barely three days before Mittal made its first approach.