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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 15:06 GMT
Watchdog sets Corus bid deadline
Corus worker checking aluminium
A merger would create the world's fifth largest steel producer
UK watchdogs have set a deadline of 30 January for Tata Steel and rival bidder CSN to table further offers for Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus.

The Takeover Panel warned that it would begin an auction procedure if the two remained in competition.

Both companies had agreed to the decision, the panel added.

Brazil's CSN tabled a 4.9bn ($9.6bn) offer for Corus last week, trumping a revised 4.7bn offer made by Indian steelmaker Tata.

The new 515 pence-a-share bid from Companhia Siderurgica Nacional was accepted by Corus on 11 December, beating Tata Steel's offer of 500p a share.

Consolidation

A takeover of Corus by either firm would create the world's fifth-largest steel group, producing 24 million tonnes of steel each year.

The Takeover Panel added that either company could revise its bid up until the close of trade on 30 January.

The battle for Corus comes amid growing consolidation in the global steel industry.

With prices and demand soaring, Mittal Steel - the world's largest steel firm - bought European rival Arcelor for $34bn earlier this year.


SEE ALSO
Steel firms in battle over Corus
11 Dec 06 |  Business
Brazil firm makes Corus approach
17 Nov 06 |  Business
Corus accepts 4.3bn Tata offer
20 Oct 06 |  Business
Poor nations push investment boom
16 Oct 06 |  Business
Energy costs hit steelmaker Corus
30 Aug 06 |  Business
Corus shares buoyed by bid talk
21 Mar 06 |  Business

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