Mittal Steel Company N.V. said the European Commission cleared its bid to steel company Arcelor SA (Luxembourg) with certain provisions. Mittal calls the clearance "a further positive and important step towards the successful completion of Mittal’s bid."
This comes despite Arcelor's announcement on May 26 that it planned to merge with another steel company, Moscow-based Severstal.
The merger agreement with Severstal was seen as a move by Arcelor to head off a takeover by Mittal. Mittal presented its first offer for Arcelor on January 27, 2006, intending to combine the companies into the world's first 100-million-ton plus steel producer. Arcelor resisted the bid, even as Mittal received U.S. antitrust clearance for the bid (conditioned on the sale of its stake in Dofasco, Inc.).
"For the past several months, we have worked constructively with the Commission - and other regulatory authorities – to demonstrate the pro-competitive impact of the Mittal/Arcelor transaction," Mittal said in a statement following the EU announcement. "Clearly, this decision also recognizes the complementary nature of the combination. The Mittal/Arcelor combination will represent a step-change in the consolidation and long-term health of the global steel industry to the benefit of all stakeholders."
Mittal's statement did not comment on the pending Arcelor/ Severstal merger agreement.
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