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Mittal Steel eyeing more acquisitions

LONDON, JAN. 17. Following the acquisition of 37 per cent stake in Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Company in China, Mittal Steel is eyeing more acquisitions in Eastern Europe and Turkey for about $1.5 billion, media reports said.

Mittal Steel is planning to bid around $1 billion for a 49 per cent stake in world's 13th largest steel manufacturer, Eregli Demir ve Celik Fabrikalari (Erdemir), which is being sold by the Turkish Government, leading British Daily The Independent said yesterday.

The company is also planning to put an offer for Vitkovice Steel, the Czech producer put up for sale by the state on Thursday, the paper said. In the Czech Republic, Mittal Steel is already the largest steel maker.

In both the acquisitions the company faces tough challenge from rival steel making companies, Arcelor and US Steel of America, The Independent said. Erdemir is listed on the Istanbul stock exchange, and the buyer expected to take over management of the group, the paper said.

The paper also said that the company would be informed within the next few weeks about the status of its bid for Polish steel group Huta Czestochowa, which is being sold for around $300 million.

Mittal Steel last week forayed into the high-value Chinese market by acquiring 37.17 per cent stake in top Chinese steel producer, Hunan Valin Steel Tube and Wire Co Ltd for $314 million. The company is poised to become the world's top steel maker with an annual production capacity in excess of 70 million tonnes annually. — UNI

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