ArcelorMittal shares fall on raised offer for Essar Steel
Shares decline 2% on concerns that LN Mittal-led ArcelorMittal is overpaying for Essar Steel
Brussels: ArcelorMittal shares fell more than 2% on Tuesday after the world’s largest steelmaker said it had raised its offer for Essar Steel, prompting concerns that it was overpaying.
ArcelorMittal is forming a joint venture with Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp to bid for Essar in competition with bids from Russian lender VTB and Vedanta Resources. It said on Monday that it had submitted a revised proposal representing a “material increase” on its two previous offers.
According to reports, ArcelorMittal raised its bid for Essar Steel to Rs 42,000 crore ($5.78 billion), well above Rs 30,500 crore reported earlier.
ArcelorMittal has also agreed to pay about $1 billion to creditors of two steel companies in which it had held a minority stake and to another in which CEO Lakshmi Mittal held a small holding.
One London-based analyst said the price in dollars per tonne of capacity was about twice that proposed in ArcelorMittal’s bid for similarly sized Italian steelmaker Ilva. ArcelorMittal has agreed to pay 1.8 billion euros for Ilva and will invest an additional 2.3 billion on productivity and pollution controls.
ArcelorMittal shares were trading down 2.6% at 24.37 euros, making them one of the weakest performers in the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading shares.
Essar is being sold as part of the insolvency resolution process. ArcelorMittal CEO Mittal has described Essar as a “compelling” opportunity for his company to enter the high-growth Indian steel market and said it had a detailed plan to improve Essar’s performance.
Essar’s main plant, in Gujarat, has an annual capacity of 9.6 million tonnes but an actual maximum of 6.1 million tonnes due to bottlenecks.
The government plans to roughly triple domestic steel production to 300 million tonnes per year by 2030.
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