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ArcelorMittal buys 51% stake in Turkish firm

Brussels, Sept. 10 (PTI): ArcelorMittal has bought a 51 per cent stake in Rozak AS, a Turkish steel stockholding company, the steel maker announced today.

The transaction, subject to the approval of antitrust authorities, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, said Gonzalo Urquijo, member of the group management board of ArcelorMittal.

“This acquisition is an important step to meet the strong Turkish demand in all products. The acquisition of this stake will allow our steel distribution business in this country to reach its capacity target in 2010,” said Urquizo.

Rozak is a premier steel maker in Turkey and it specialises in producing sheets and plates at its five plants. In 2006, it shipped 450,000 tonnes of steel with a turnover of 260 million euros. Turkey is one of the fastest growing steel markets in the world. Its construction sector is growing at an annual rate of 10 per cent.

ArcelorMittal is the world’s number one steel company, with 320,000 employees in more than 60 countries. The company was formed in July 2006 through the merger of Mittal Steel and Arcelor after a prolonged takeover battle. With crude steel production of 118 million tonnes, the steel maker contributes about 10 per cent to the global steel output.

Headed by Lakshmi Mittal, ArcelorMittal is an imposing presence in all major global markets, including automotives, construction, household appliances and packaging.

The company, which has an industrial presence in European, Asian, African and American countries, has access to all key steel markets. It is betting big on high-growth markets such as China and India.

Mittal Steel’s Arcelor bid — estimated at around 30 billion euros — has been marred by problems. Brazil’s market regulator forced it to spend nearly four billion euros to buy out Arcelor’s Latin American steel units. Recently, US regulators have ordered it to sell off its major steel plant in Maryland.

On Monday, the company’s shares traded for 45.54 euros per share on the European bourses.

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