Mittal makes new investment in Poland

Londo: Continuing in his attempt to consolidate the highly fragmented global steel industry, steel billionaire L N Mittal, has signed an agreement with the Polish government to buy 31 per cent shareholding in Polish steel maker Polskie Huty Stali for $2.3 billion.

In 2004, Mittal had acquired a majority 69 per cent shareholding in the company. With the signing of this agreement, Mittal Steel will acquire the Polish company''s four plants that account for 90 per cent of Polish steel production.

Mittal Steel has also started modernising drive to bring state-of-the-art technologies and steel-making facilities to the four steel plants.

It has already pumped in more than $1 billion in the plants since last year and has commissioned a new colour-coating line in its Swientochlowice plant and re-built and extensively upgraded the furnace in Dabrowa Gornicza and modernized the wire-rod mill in Sosnowicw.

Mittal Steel has changed the Polish profile in the world steel market and has become the largest investor in the country. Indian Ambassador to Poland, Anil Wadhwa, said, "Though Mittal is based in London, his Indian origins have helped the profile of India over the years in Poland.

"Now Videocon, Zensar, Tata Consultancy and many other companies have entered thePolish market and Indian investment has grown many fold. In a sense, Mittal is a forerunner in this field."