Deals that changed the market in 2006: Mittal Steel’s takeover of Arcelor
A hostile approach that came out of the blue, Mittal’s campaign for Arcelor overcame the full range of defence strategies to form a merged company that might transform the entire industry.
Deal type: Mittal Steel’s €26.9 billion acquisition of Arcelor
Mittal Steel’s hostile takeover bid for Arcelor launched in January 2006 pitched the new world against the old, a family-run, entrepreneurial, aggressive upstart – built up from its foundations in Indonesia in the 1970s through the acquisition of struggling, almost bankrupt privatized national steel companies in central and eastern Europe – against a grand if rather sleepy grouping of old national champions of western Europe, tracing their origins to the late 19th century.
"It was unsolicited and at first hostile. On the face of it, it was almost shocking. The notion of merging the number one and number two companies in the world was almost unthinkable," recalls Sudhir Maheshwari, executive vice-president finance and M&A and member of the group executive committee at Arcelor Mittal. "But as soon as the Mittal family tabled the idea in January 2006 we all thought ‘this is so compelling, let’s do it immediately’.