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Home > Business > PTI > Report

UK panel close to decision on Corus battle

January 23, 2007 16:20 IST

The UK Takeover Panel is close to deciding a process to pick the winner in the battle for Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus and an announcement could be made as early as in a day or two.

The regulator has been holding discussions with Corus as well as its two suitors -- India's Tata Steel and Brazil's CSN, who have made their submissions to the panel.

But a consensus on the mechanism to resolve the competitive situation has been elusive with both the suitors expressing themselves against certain terms mooted by the Takeover Panel, sources close to the development said.

However, the panel is set to announce its decision whether or not there is agreement on the process between the parties concerned, as it has already been quite some time since Corus received the first bid in October last year.

The Tata-Corus saga

The bidders are apparently uneasy with certain terms of the process, such as a sealed bidding and a prescribed gap between the two bids in case of an open auction.

Late in December, the Panel had set a deadline of January 30 while ruling that an auction process could be started 'shortly before' this date if the competitive situation continues to exit.

The panel has conveyed to the two suitors that it would start the auction process only if Tata Steel was keen on raising its bid.

Currently, CSN has offered 515 pence a share for Corus, compared to Tata's 500 pence a share While a CSN spokesperson declined to comment, officials of Tata and the Takeover Panel were not available.

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