Arcelor drafts in Skadden in takeover defence

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has scooped a lucrative mandate to defend Arcelor, the world’s second-largest steel maker, against a hostile takeover by Mittal Steel.

Mittal, which has instructed long-term adviser Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, made an unsolicited £17bn (EUR25bn) takeover bid for Arcelor last Friday (27 January). The bid mixed cash and shares exchange offer, but was unanimously rejected by Arcelor’s board last night (29 January).

In a statement, the board said: “Arcelor and Mittal do not share the same strategic vision, business model and value.”

The bid comes hot on the heels of Arcelor’s victory in a bidding war with ThuyssenKrupp to acquire Canadian steel company company Dofasco.

The Arcelor defence is the latest hostile takover mandate Skadden has landed in recent years. The M&A powerhouse is acting for new client Swedish insurer Skandia in connection with Old Mutual’s £3.3bn hostile offer to acquire all the shares of Skandia.

The firm also successfully defended South African miner Gold Fields against a takeover by rival Harmony.

The Skadden team advising Arcelor is being led by London-based corporate partner Scott Simpson. Cleary’s team is headed up by Paris-based partner Jean-Pierre Vignaud.