Sun, Aug 06, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Arcelor-Mittal unveils new team

INTRODUCTIONS The new firm, a combination of the world's two largest steelmakers, presented its new top management duo, Arcelor's Roland Junck and CFO Aditya Mittal


The new Arcelor-Mittal steel group presented its management team on Friday, naming Arcelor veteran Roland Junck as chief executive and Aditya Mittal as chief financial officer.

The world's two largest steelmakers will each contribute another two members to the management board of the company, which is being formed after Arcelor yielded to Mittal's US$31.9 billion takeover in June following a bitter five-month battle.

Mittal's current Chairman and CEO, Lakshmi Mittal, called it "the strongest management team in the steel industry."

"They have already been working together over the past six weeks and have established a good rapport which augurs well for the future integration of the two companies," Mittal said. "We had an amazing fight but we have an amazing alignment."

Mittal, 55, will be president of the new company and will eventually succeed Arcelor Chairman Joseph Kinsch, 73, as chairman of Arcelor-Mittal.

Junck, 51, is now vice president at Arcelor SA. He joined Luxembourg's Arbed in 1980 and became senior vice president of Spain's Aceralia in 1998. Both companies joined with France's Usinor in 2002 to form Arcelor.

Aditya Mittal, Lakshmi Mittal's son, has been chief financial officer at Mittal Steel Co. NV since it was formed in 2004. Junck said he did not think he was "squeezed" between the two Mittals.

"I have the feeling that I can build up and that I have the support of Lakshmi Mittal and Aditya Mittal," he said.

Junck signaled that the new company would keep an eye on new acquisitions and would not to repeat one of Arcelor's early mistakes in spending too much time focusing on integrating operations.

"During that time we were not growing and not looking outside," Junck said. "Now we have the resources to concentrate as well on our interior, on the integration, and as well following up our strategy."

Junck, who did not play a major part in Arcelor's staunch opposition to Mittal's bid, downplayed any cultural differences between the companies.

"It is not that important as it is sometimes shown," he said.

Arcelor's resistance led Mittal raise its offer twice and agree to several concessions -- including Arcelor's right to name the merged company's new chief executive.

Current CEO Guy Dolle ruled himself out of the running after playing a high-profile role in the fight against Mittal, describing its steel as cheap eau de cologne compared to Arcelor's high-quality perfume.

Contrary to earlier announcements, Dolle will not be on the management board.

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