The head of European steel maker Arcelor said that the company had been prepared for nearly a year to fight a hostile takeover bid which Mittal Steel sprang on Friday with an offer of 18.6 billion euros (22.7 billion dollars).
Arcelor chief executive Guy Dolle, speaking on French radio station Europe 1, said: ‘We have known for a year that it (Mittal) was interested in us.’
Arcelor had been ‘prepared for this attack since last spring’, he said referring to the bid which would create by far the biggest steel producer in the world.
‘We are ready,’ he said. ‘We have a plan that enables us to resist.’
He added: ‘The fight has begun, and we are going to win it. It will be long.’
Arcelor did not need Mittal Steel, Dolle argued. ‘We think that the future of Arcelor is much better for its shareholders and employees if it remains alone rather than being allied to Mittal.’