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Home > Business > PTI > Report

LN Mittal trusts no one but wife

June 13, 2007 15:57 IST

Billionaire Lakshmi Mittal will trust none other than his better half Usha when none of the directors are there to run the world's largest steel company.

The shareholders of Mittal Steel, which acquired its closest rival Arcelor last year for over 33 billion dollars and would soon be renamed as ArcelorMittal, cleared a proposal to designate Usha Mittal to this position by an overwhelming support at an Annual General Meeting in Amsterdam yesterday.

"The resolution was approved by 97 per cent of votes cast by shareholders," Mittal Steel said in a regulatory filing.

The board had proposed to designate Usha Mittal as the person referred to in "Article 23 of Articles of Association of the Company".

According to the Article of Association, such a person is "temporarily responsible for the management of the company in case all members of the board of directors are prevented from acting or are permanently absent".

The company had said in its proposal placed before the AGM Usha Mittal has more than 15 years experience in steel and related industries and was a director of the company from its inception until March 16, 2001.

According to the company's annual report for 2006, Lakshmi and Usha Mittal owned 87.47 per cent of Mittal Steel's shares, representing 98.32 per cent of its voting rights.

Currently, Mittal Steel's board is headed by Joseph Kinsch as chairman and Lakshmi Mittal is the president of the board. Mittal's daughter Vanisha Mittal is also one of the directors on the board.

At the AGM, the shareholders also approved a proposal to ratify the board's decision to appoint Lakshmi Mittal as Chief Executive Officer of the company as of November 5, 2006.

The Mittal family abstained during the vote on this resolution, which was approved by 98.2 per cent of the votes cast by other shareholders. The company had said in November 2006 when Mittal was appointed as CEO that the controlling shareholder would abstain from voting on his appointment.

Addressing the shareholders at the meeting, Mittal Steel Chairman and CEO said: "Since last year's merger, integration of our two companies has gone forward at a fast pace and operational results have surpassed our expectations."

The AGM was represented by 904,793,958 shares, or 65 per cent of the company's entire share capital and all the resolutions on the agenda were adopted by the shareholders, the company said.

This was the first AGM attended by both former shareholders of Arcelor and shareholders of Mittal Steel.

ArcelorMittal is the world's number one steel company with 320,000 employees in more than 60 countries. It had a combined revenue of 88.6 billion dollars in 2006, with a crude steel production of 118 million tonnes, representing around 10 per cent of world steel output.

The shareholders would meet again at the company's next Extraordinary Meeting later this year to approve the next step in the merger process.

Besides other proposals, the shareholders also approved the annual accounts for fiscal 2006, a proposal to continue to pay a quarterly dividend of 0.325 dollar per share and reappointment of Deloitte Accountants as its registered accountant.

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