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Tata-Corus deal becomes effective
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April 02, 2007 18:38 IST
Indian conglomerate Tata Group's $12 billion takeover of Anglo-Dutch giant Corus Group Plc reached its culmination with the deal coming into effect from making Tata Steel the world's fifth largest steel firm.

The Anglo-Dutch steel giant on Monday announced the scheme of arrangement related to the company's takeover by Tata Steel at a price of 608 pence per share has now become effective.

With this, Corus has become a subsidiary of Tata Steel, which now has about 24 million tonnes of production capacity.

Today's announcement came after the approval of the deal by Corus shareholders on March 7 and by a UK court on March 27 and suspension in trading of Corus shares on March 30.

The only formality left in this deal, which marks the biggest ever overseas acquisition by an Indian entity, is the payment of the balance amount by Tata Steel, which has already spent close to $2.5 billion by acquiring about 21 per cent stake in Corus through open market transactions.

Tata Steel had said on February 7 it intends to make the payments as soon as possible on or after the effective date. Under the terms of the agreement, Tata Steel is required to make all the payments within 14 days of the deal coming into effect, that is by April 16.

Tatas' bid for Corus went through lots of turbulence since October 4 when it confirmed talks for the acquisition - mainly after it was rivalled by Brazil's CSN, which said it plans to launch a 475 pence offer as against 455 pence then offer from Tata Steel.

Tata Steel later revised their bid to 500 pence a share, but were outbid within hours with a 515 pence offer from CSN.

The competing bids forced the UK Takeover Panel, the British merger and acquisition watchdog, to step in with an auction process to determine the winner.

The completion of this acquisition of Corus by Tata Steel is a major step forward in the company's global strategy and represents an exciting future for both businesses," Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Steel and Corus, said in a statement.

Corus' top management will remain with the enlarged group to ensure successful integration of the combined business.

Jim Leng, retiring chairman of Corus, said: "Corus and Tata Steel combination will enable us to build on complementary skills in global markets."

The enlarged company will have a combined turnover of over $23 billion and will be the world's fifth largest producer with 84,000 employees across four continents.

Tata Steel had emerged winner with a 608 pence final bid when CSN conceded defeat after its last bid of 603 pence a share following a closely-fought nine round auction.

According to sources familiar with the development, the auction was fought at point-blank gap till the end and even forced the sealed bidding process to be brought into picture.

Tata Steel was disciplined in its bidding till the end of the eight round open bidding process. This was followed by a final ninth round of sealed bidding and its every next bid was a minimum and mandatory five pence higher than the previous.

However, CSN remained unpredictable with its bids and started with a gap of 15 pence in the very first round.

The eight rounds of open bidding closed at 585 pence a share, after which CSN offered to outbid Tata Steel's offer by five pence and set a maximum limit of 603 pence a share.

But Tata Steel also outlined similar criteria and offered to top the CSN's final bid by five pence - indicating a 608 pence offer, which forced the Brazilian rival to withdraw from the race, the sources added.

The Tata-Corus saga

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