Corus chief supports Tata Steel offer at European industry meet

Philippe Varin chief executive of Corus has supported the takeover offer by Tata Steel. The Anglo-Dutch steelmaker last month approved the Tata offer for a friendly merger that would create the world''s fifth-largest steelmaker. Varin said the deal could close by January 2007.

Though Corus''s biggest shareholder, Standard Life Investments, which has a 7.9-per cent stake, had said at the time of the announcement of the Taata offer that the price of 455 pence per share did not represent "significant value."

Varin pointed out that Tata''s bid represented a 26 percent premium to Corus''s share price over the past 12 months Moreover, the prospects of a counteroffer, have been receding as time passes, some analysts believe that the combined entity could be an attractive takeover target in the future.