Arcelor Mittal takes control of China Oriental

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Hong Kong, Nov 22: Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steelmaker, raised its stake in China Oriental Group Co Ltd to more than 73 per cent, becoming the first foreign company to take control of a Chinese steel maker.

Arcelor had raised its interest in China Oriental from 28.03 per cent, according to the stock exchange filing, but no financial terms were released.

Arcelor paid HK$6.12 per share for the 28.03 percent stake earlier this month. Based on that price, the 73 percent holding would be worth US$1.7 billion.

Company officials were not immediately available for comment.

Arcelor bought the initial stake from China Oriental's former executive director for $647 million this month following Chen's unsuccessful bid to buy out the company in August.

China Oriental's Chairman Han Jiangyuan, who owns 45 percent of the company, rejected Chen's offer of HK$2.9 per share.

But Han currently also holds a short position of a 45 percent stake in the company, the exchange filing showed.

The stock last traded at HK$5.4 on November 6, ahead of a trading suspension pending a price sensitive announcement.

The stock has tripled over the past year.

Reuters>

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