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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 February 2007, 07:33 GMT
India media upbeat on Tata's win
Newspaper headlines on Tata deal
The media has hailed the takeover
The Indian media has welcomed Indian firm Tata Steel's $12.1bn (6bn) takeover bid on Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus on Wednesday.

The takeover is set to create the world's fifth largest steel group.

But India's media has also sounded a note of caution on whether the Indian conglomerate paid too much to win.

The deal has made front-page news in papers all over the country. India On Song, Takes Corus Along, headlined The Times Of India.

Tatas outgun Brazilians, take world by storm, it added.

Have you slept at all, the newspaper asked Tata Steel chief Ratan Tata after outbidding Brazil's CSN for Corus.

"Not a wink. But I wasn't alone," he replied.

Were you nervous, the newspaper asked.

"Not nervous, But apprehensive through the night that something could go wrong. We didn't have an indication of which way the bidding was headed to," Mr Tata said.

What was the most you were willing to pay for Corus, the newspaper asked.

"Let me put it this way. At 608 pence, we hadn't reached the limit we had set ourselves," the Tata chief said.

The newspaper said in an editorial that the deal was a "cause of celebration, but not euphoria" - it said the Tata Steel share lost value "on fears that the transaction was overpriced".

But the newspaper agreed that the deal was a "watershed" - "it reaffirms the arrival of India as a big player in the globalisation game, one that looks upon companies and markets of the world as its playground".

Global player

Ratan Is King Corus, headlined The Asian Age, saying that a "relaxed Mr Tata betrayed no exuberance over this largest single acquisition deal nor did he display any tiredness."

Newspaper headline on Tata deal
Most newspapers ran detailed accounts on how the deal was swung

Singing the Corus, headlined The Indian Express.

"[The deal] outlines the potential of liberalisation and globalisation in transforming the country's future," the paper said.

Describing the deal as an "outstanding global foray", The Hindu said that by taking control of Corus, "Tata Steel has shown that it can do business with a quintessentially European company and command respect from banks and financial markets around the world, not to speak of the shareholders".

The newspaper wondered, quoting industry observers, whether Tatas had "paid way too much", but chairman Ratan Tata "justified it saying the acquisition of Corus, which marks Tata Steel's first expansion outside Asia was worth it".

Signed, steeled, headlined Hindustan Times.

"By staking $12.1bn to acquire Corus, he has put the future of Tata Steel - and the group's business - on the line".

"This single deal is worth $2bn more than the total $10bn spent by all of India Inc last year in 190 overseas acquisitions put together.

"Only time will tell whether Mr Tata is right in his assertion that the asking price was well worth the advantage of acquiring capacity and a set brand in the developed European market, and the gamble of taking on a huge load of debt on the assumption of a sustained demand of steel over, at least, the next decade."

Mint, a new business paper, also sounded a note of caution.

"Corus is a notoriously cyclical business where cash flows are volatile. A downturn in the steel industry could threaten this leveraged buyout."

Indian hat-trick

Corus factory
The Corus takeover makes Tata the world's fifth largest steel maker
The Financial Times echoed a similar sentiment, saying, "You can't tell yet if Tata overpaid".

"[Tata shareholders] have a simple question: is Corus worth 608 pence a share," the newspaper asked in an editorial.

"What does Tata see in Corus that other investors don't?

"The simplest answer, perhaps is that the group had little choice. With a 100-milion-tonne-plus giant in [LN] Mittal, it had to buy its way into the global big league, anyway, or give up steel - which the world's 'lowest-cost steelmaker' would understandably be loath to," the newspaper said.

Business Standard said nobody really knows whether Tata paid too much to clinch the deal.

"The answer... depends fundamentally on how the steel market evolves over time and whether steel prices remain buoyant.

"But it is precisely the risk that makes Mr Tata's gamble exciting," said The Telegraph newspaper.

"The low cost of hot metal made in Jamshedpur [Tata's flagship steel plant in India] should bring down the average costs of Corus; conversely, the high prices for flat products in Europe should raise the value of raw steel made at home," it said.

Five Pence Gives India A Pound of UK, headlined a triumphant The Economic Times.

"Corus, the erstwhile British steel and one of the icons of Her Majesty's Empire will now fly the [Indian] Tricolour," the paper said.

"The Tatas are expected to run Corus better in the long run than the existing management. One of the stunning aspects of the deal has been the trust reposed in capabilities of Indian management."

Newspaper headline
The media spoke of Ratan Tata's "aggression" in sealing the deal
World's No 5, India's No 1, headlined The Financial Express, alluding to Tatas becoming the world's fifth largest steel maker after the deal, while retaining its position as the premier steel maker in India.

"The House of Tatas is generally considered conservative and Ratan Tata did not give an impression to the contrary. Aggression is a more recent attribute of Tata. It is born out of the developments in India and also the global scenario," former federal finance minister Yashwant Sinha wrote in the paper.

The Telegraph newspaper quoted an ecstatic unnamed member of the Tata team which negotiated the deal as saying: "After [writer] Kiran Desai's Booker win and Shilpa's [Shetty] in Celebrity Big Brother, this is an Indian hat-trick in London."

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