BRUSSELS: Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and majority-owner of steel group Arcelor Mittal, on 28 March denied market talk his firm was interested in bidding for French seamless steel tubes specialist Vallourec.
“We have no interest in Vallourec at this time,” he told a news conference.
Shares in Vallourec rose more than 5% on 28 March, an increase traders attributed to a rumour that Mittal had indicated during an investors’ meeting in New York that he was interested in the French company.
“What he said is that he was interested in building a global platform in seamless tubes, which can have triggered speculation on Vallourec,” said a London-based analyst.
Arcelor Mittal’s Chief Financial Officer Aditya Mittal told the Wednesday news conference in Brussels that the world’s largest steelmaker still expected to achieve a core profit (EBITDA) of $4-4.2 billion in the first quarter.
He repeated the view of the company that EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) in 2007 would be ”much better” than in 2006.
Arcelor Mittal still expected its capital expenditure in 2007 to total $4-$4.5 billion.
Regarding acquisition targets, the company hoped to reach a deal with the Chinese government this year to enable it to acquire a minority stake in China’s Laiwu.
It had no further news on a bid it had made during an auction for India’s Sesa Goa and also said that it did not plan to put in an offer for Korea’s POSCO Co. Ltd.
The Korea Economic Daily previously said Arcelor Mittal could be interested in making a hostile takeover of POSCO.