MAC: Mines and Communities

Tata Steel should not feel vulnerable: Mittal

Published by MAC on 2006-07-11

Tata Steel should not feel vulnerable: Mittal

Times of India

11th July 2006

NEW DELHI: Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, with son Aditya in tow, spoke business when he landed in the Capital on Friday afternoon. After having given Jharkhand the royal ignore and moved his attention to Orissa, where he announced the setting up of a 12mn-tonne steel plant, the steel tycoon made it very clear that India was very much on his radar.

With an opening investment of Rs 40, 000 crores, Mittal emphasised that he was open to pumping in more investment in the country.

"Although our initial commitment is 12 mn tonne steel plant, we are open to growth. As a policy we would like to consolidate", he said.

"Whoever said that I am not interested in India," he told reporters at a press conference held in the Capital, when asked whether he was interested in Indian companies.

In a veiled threat to the fragmented Indian steel industry, the London-based Indian entrepreneur cited the Chinese example, where consolidation is the mantra.

"Unlike in the 70's, Chinese companies in 2006 are talking of consolidation. The Chinese government has said that they won't allow any small company to survive. Smaller companies will have less and less future as they will not find themselves competitive," Mittal reiterated.

The steel tycoon, who wants to beef up Mittal-Arcelor presence in India, is also looking at setting up greenfield operations in India. He also said that he is open to acquiring mining operations in India.

Dismissing all fears that Mittal entry in the country has sent Tata Steel on a defensive mode, the business giant said that "there was no reason for Tata Steel to feel vulnerable".

Mittal also assured that there would be no job cuts anywhere, following Arcelor-Mittal marriage. "Most Arcelor shareholders will tender shares by July 13," he said.

When asked about whether he had any philanthropy plans like Warren Buffett, Mittal laughed it off by saying that "I am still very young for philanthropy. Let me work for a couple of more years, then I'll think about it".

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