A&O scoops Arcelor steel saga role

Allen & Overy (A&O) has scooped a mandate advising Russia’s Severstal on its proposed merger with Arcelor to create the world’s biggest steelmaker.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has reprised its role as Arcelor’s main adviser after helping it defend a hostile bid from rival Mittal Steel.

The transaction values Arcelor at EUR44 per share (excluding EUR1.85 dividend), representing a 36.6% premium over Arcelor’s closing price ex-dividend on May 25, 2006.

The merger of Arcelor and Severstal will result in the combined group having EUR46bn in sales, EUR9 bn in EBITDA and 70m tonnes of production, based on each company’s 2005 results.

London-based corporate partner Alistair Asher led the A&O team which includes lawyers from its Brussels Luxembourg, Moscow and New York offices.

This latest deal is seen as the final nail in the coffin for Mittal Steel’s attempts to acquire Arcelor. In January, Mittal, which instructed long-term adviser Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, made an unsolicited £17bn (EUR25bn) takeover bid for Arcelor.

The Arcelor board rejected that bid and has been shoring up its defences ever since. London-based corporate partner Scott Simpson is leading the Skadden team.