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Brazilian steel maker CSN tops rival bid for Corus

December 12, 2006|From Reuters

LONDON — Brazilian steel maker CSN offered Monday to buy Anglo-Dutch rival Corus Group for 4.9 billion pounds ($9.6 billion) in cash, trumping a bid made only hours earlier by India's Tata Steel.

CSN, or Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, said it would pay 515 pence for each Corus share, topping Tata Steel's offer of 500 pence. Tata Steel said it was considering its position after CSN's offer.

A takeover of Corus by either company would create the world's fifth-biggest steel maker.

It would also mark the latest acquisition in the steel sector as companies look for global reach, economies of scale and valuable raw material supplies. Dutch-based Mittal Steel this year bought Luxembourg's Arcelor to create Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel maker.

A Corus takeover would allow CSN to boost capacity and tap into more lucrative markets in Europe, where Corus' distribution network is well established.

Corus stock leaped 6%, while CSN shares tumbled 2% on fears that it would get caught up in a costly bidding war.

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