Steel Industry: Tata buys Corus

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

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India's steelmaker Tata Steel, of the Tata Group, buys Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus Group for £6.7 billion ($12 billion), making it the world's fifth largest steel manufacturer. 70-year-old Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata, from one of India's best-known business families, won the race against Benjamin Steinbruch, 52, a famous Brazilian executive who is the chief and main owner of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN). Tata paid investors 608 pence a share, whereas the Brazilians final offer in an auction by the U.K.'s Takeover Panel was 603 pence.

The deal triples Tata Steel's capacity to almost 28 million tons a year. Tata: "This is the first step in showing that Indian industry can step outside its shores into an international market place as a global player."

Corus, which was created from the merger of British Steel and Hoogovens, currently employs 47,300 people worldwide. Last year the company was the ninth-largest steel maker worldwide.

The takeover may start a round of consolidation in the fragmented steel sector.

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