ArcelorMittal’s drive for China mill accelerates

Dec 13, 2007 | 02:50 PM | Hongmei Li

ArcelorMittal SA is forging full steam ahead into China, but how fast—or even if its foray will go through—remains unclear.

ArcelorMittal plans to raise its stake in China Oriental Group Co. Ltd. to 73.13 percent barely a week after it agreed to help the Hong Kong-listed company expand into a 10-million-tonne-a-year steel mill. The controlling stake will come via a deal to buy a 45.11-percent stake from China Oriental's controlling shareholder, Han Jingyuan, a transaction that would oblige the world's largest steelmaker to make an offer to the company's remaining shareholders, the companies said in a joint statement Thursday.

While analysts in China said the country's government isn't likely to stand in the way of the deal, China Oriental's chairman appears to be less than convinced, at the very least on the timing of the deal.....

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