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Corus defers EGM to allow formal bid

Press Trust Of India
Dec 13, 2006 at 04:11pm IST

London: A day after Brazilian steel giant CSN offered a higher bid than the Tatas to acquire Corus, the Anglo-Dutch steel maker announced postponement of the December 20 Extraordinary General meeting of its shareholders which was to decide on the issue.

A spokeswoman of Corus said that no agenda was fixed for the December 20 meeting.

"The Corus Board (of directors) has recommended the adjournment of the meeting and details would be announced in due course," she said.

The CSN had on Tuesday offered 515 pence a share, 15 pence more than Tatas' early bid, prompting Corus to recommend the higher offer to its shareholders.

Within hours of Tata Steel's bid of nearly Rs 41,000 crore, CSN, high on support from pension trustees for its increased commitment to their fund, pipped the Indian corporate giant with a cash offer of Rs 42,700 crore.

After the enhanced offer of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, the Tata Steel said it was considering its position and "will make a further announcement in due course."

Commenting on the competitive bidding, Corus Chairman Jim Leng had said: "CSN's offer is consistent with our strategic objective of securing access to raw materials, low-cost production and growth markets. The combination of the two businesses will create a stronger platform from which to compete and grow in an increasingly global market."

The battle for takeover of Corus, which would make the new combined entity as the fifth largest steel player, has caught the eyeballs of bankers, investors and analysts almost in the same fashion when Mittal Steel acquired Arcelor for 35 $billion to become the world's largest steel producer.

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