Shares of global steel makers surged after Arcelor rejected Mittal’s hostile $23 billion bid, and both sides prepared to win support from shareholders in a public relations clash on Monday in Paris.
A deal that could put many of Arcelor’s 28,500 French jobs at risk also poses a sharp test for French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin’s policy of “economic patriotism,” especially with employment likely to be a key issue in French presidential elections in 2007.
The board at Arcelor, the world’s second largest steelmaker, unanimously rejected the bid by the world’s top steelmaker on Sunday, but Mittal and Arcelor both scheduled news conferences in the French capital on Monday, seeking to bolster their positions.
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