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STEEL. Born into a modest family in Rajasthan, Lakshmi Mittal is now the fifth . down time is 30 per cent. ples of a cold-hearted ruthless streak, a desire to. Download [PDF] Cold Steel: Lakshmi Mittal and the Multi-Billion-Dollar Battle for a Global Empire By - Tim Bouquet *Full Books*. Cold Steel: Lakshmi Mittal and the Multi-Billion-Dollar Battle for a Global Empire eBook: Tim Bouquet, Byron Ousey: hackbus.info: Kindle Store. includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet. Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings .. Got this book in my hand and was unable to put it down till the climax. Read more.
Before becoming a college devoted to the creative, decorative and performing arts, West Dean was the home of the late Edward James, a poet and writer who used his inherited wealth to become a passionate supporter of Surrealism and sponsored artists such as Salvador Dali. The house is packed with paintings, sculpture, furniture and stuffed animals which all reflect the late owner's take on life. Over a mid-morning coffee break the prospective authors, surrounded by the Sunday newspapers, got talking about the far more realistic intentions of steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, and Britain's richest man, who had just launched an audacious and hostile bid for the world's second-biggest steel company, Luxembourg-based Arcelor. Tim the tutor and Byron the pupil Page 1. Tim was hoping to be the first feature writer to profile Lakshmi Mittal, for an article for the Telegraph Magazine. Byron happened to have a bird's-eye view of this takeover battle raging in Luxembourg. He was advising the Luxembourg government, which was the biggest shareholder in Mittal's target, Arcelor, on its communications strategy, but was not directly involved with either Arcelor or Mittal Steel.
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Choose Store. Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 1 1 star ratings 1 reviews. Overall rating 5. Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Report as inappropriate. A clear cut overview of the dynamics of international finance, mergers and acquisitions.
A must read … Show more Show less. How to write a great review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author's style Explain the rating you gave Don't Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book's price Recap the plot.
Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. Would you like us to take another look at this review? No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! How much is fiction? Too many Characters to remember. A gripping narrative of Mittal-Arcelor takeover fight and how the who's who of investment banking, PR firms and governments wanted a piece of the action.
My recommendation - Must read. Nov 03, Amazing Titicaca rated it really liked it. This book is very captivating talking about his origins, business and personal life. How Mr. Mittal transformed a small company in the biggest steel maker of our times. His astronomical wealth and power, he lives like a king in London. I enjoyed its pages for two weeks, the way how Tim and Byron describe the story is amazing. Very motivational book on how to manage a company and take it to skye Such interesting and captivating book Such interesting bio about Lakshmi Mittal, Indian Andrew Carnegie.
Very motivational book on how to manage a company and take it to skyes. Brilliant, fast paced Brilliant, fast paced but with a lot of details of what went on behind the scenes. Loved it. There is a list of 'Dramatis Personae' at the end which can't be seen in the index. Aug 30, Uday Saripalli rated it it was amazing. When truth is stranger than fiction. Fast paced, thrilling and full of suspense, Cold steel would put any suspense writer to shame.
One word of warning though - do start it on a totally free weekend and be prepared to skip office on Monday, for once you start you simply can't put it down. Sep 06, Guruprasad Krishnaraj rated it it was amazing. Gripping novel style narration of a corporate battle of wills and money. Feb 08, Syed Naser rated it really liked it.
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Very few business books can be read like a thriller novel. This one is one of those few Aug 19, Anvay rated it it was amazing. Very engaging. Jan 16, Prateek rated it it was amazing. A gripping story of real life business deal. Almost feels like reading a fictional thriller. May 27, Max Lapin rated it it was amazing. Amazing detective story. But a real life one. Dec 19, Bruno Chicalia rated it really liked it. Really does read like a thriller. Very insightful. I loved it.
Apr 20, Abhilasha Purwar rated it really liked it. Gripping and educating non fiction about one of the largest corporate acquisitions that sometimes bought tears in my eyes. Mar 17, Amit D'Souza rated it really liked it. The book does drag a bit in the middle, with some repetitions as if it was required to add to the story to make a book. Otherwise Its LNM all the way, he can do no wrong. Yes, It is a fact that Arcelor bungled throughout the whole deal and their constricted vision is very evident.
Still I was hoping the book read a bit more neutral. Vishnu Madadi. Real inside on what happened in this take over. Nail biting finish like a thriller movie. One of my must recommend books to read!! This book was on my list for almost 5 year and I waited to read it for so long that for a while I decided that ill just let this one took stay unread like a dream one cherishes.
But than I realized that soon ill be joining job again and for all the indicators that I m getting I might not be able to read any book for a considerable period of time, so I decided to shook off the in-decisiveness and ordered the book, it came and was lying with me for a good 2 months. Finally I swallowed my pride and This book was on my list for almost 5 year and I waited to read it for so long that for a while I decided that ill just let this one took stay unread like a dream one cherishes.
Finally I swallowed my pride and started it, and boy oh boy what a beautifully written book this is. Unarguably this book comes as one of the best book I have ever read. Its fast, its exciting and even though I knew many of the things by closely following the deal at the time it was taking place.
I was nonetheless spellbound by the author and the style they have shown here. The author has shown how the real business world where all sort of stakeholders claiming to be the virtuous one and on the side of dharma and right karma can turn against each other, deceive people who trust them and knowingly or unknowingly harm those very people they are swearing to protect.
The battle of mergers and takeover is too real and intense, and author has done enough justice with it. Book is a must read for anyone claiming to be a lover of business book reader or a fan of thriller and drama. Strongly recommended for anyone with an interest in modern-day battles taking place in boardrooms instead of open arenas. Feb 13, Santosh Rangapure rated it liked it. The pattern was always the same.
They never did. Speed, surprise and variety were Mittal watchwords. There was another: Mittal took on each company's debt and refinanced it through his banks, Credit Suisse and HSBC which he had come to work with regularly and closely , which meant that in most cases he had bought the plant for a song.
In came the Indian management and up Page Along with the acquisitions came the flak. Mittal insisted that Blair had written the letter at the request of the British ambassador in Romania, 'after we had already been informed that our offer had been accepted. I gave to Labour because of my love of the party and its leader. I never asked for anything, never expected anything in return. The storm blew over and Mittal was clearly irritated, but it did not stop him gifting the party 2 million more in July and kicking off another controversy.
In Kazakhstan and in Poland Mittal used lobbyists and middleCold Steel 39 men to broker takeovers who later became the subject of scrutiny by the media and investigators. Key members of the Chodiev group, said the programme, were alleged to have links with organised crime in the former Soviet Union but nothing has ever been proved.
In May the Financial Times reported that 'Chodiev and his two associates might have to step down from ENRC's board in order to acquire a listing, due to money-laundering charges against the three, currently outstanding in Belgium'.
The trio have denied the charges. Then there was polo-playing Marek Dochnal, one of Poland's premier lobbyists. He worked for Mittal on securing the deal to buy a 69 per cent holding in the Polish steel manufacturers Polskie Huty Stali in March , with an option to acquire an additional 25 per cent. Dochnal was then arrested over allegations of bribery and corruption on non-Mittal privatisation deals and is in jail awaiting trial.
Once more Mittal defended himself. None of the major investment banks know anything about Kazakhstan and could not advise. They don't even know where it is on a map. I had to use local people, just like anybody else trying to do business there.
Mittal rushed to be with the bereaved. Standing alongside Page In Ireland, Mittal's Midas touch finally deserted him. In he pulled out of the former Irish Steel Haulbowline plant in Cork, which he had bought five years before for IR1, at a few hours' notice, leaving behind debts of over 57 million and four hundred people jobless. It was the first company he had ever shut down.
Although workers received most of the millions owed to them in wages, holiday pay and other entitlements via the state redundancy scheme, the unions criticised Mittal for his instant exit. So, we did not do it very quickly' While critics had questioned some of his methods, none of their mud had stuck to Lakshmi Mittal.
Always smiling, he just went on making money. Kazakhstan was the engine room of the expanding Mittal empire - spanning four continents and with steelworks in Page Its output had gone through the roof, from , tonnes to well-nigh more than four million.
Throughout these turbulent early years of the new century Mittal was served well by a close-knit team of long-standing loyalists.
But one person was always at his side. Aditya, his protege and son, was now his father's business partner too.
In Lakshmi Mittal's family was brought together by tragedy, the fatal illness of his mother. His parents and brothers had moved to London in , and now they met in the hospital at Gita Devi's bedside as chronic heart disease drove her into a coma.
In the corri-, dors outside it was Usha - who, after the rift that had developed between the two sides of the family back in , was missing her brothers-in-law, just as Aditya and his sister Vanisha longed to see' their cousins again - who began the bridge-building.
Then, after his' mother's death, Lakshmi chartered an aircraft for the reunited family to take her body back to India for cremation. Lakshmi Mittal was as proud of his twenty-three-year-old daughter Vanisha as he was of his son. A thousand guests, put up at Mittal's expense at the Grand Hotel Intercontinental in Paris, flew in for five days of events including an engagement party at Versailles, Usha Mittal's favourite place, and a wedding ceremony at Vaux-le-Vicomte, reckoned to be the finest chateau in France.
Mittal, resplendent like all the men present in a flowing pink Rajasthani turban, banned the press, but that did not stop the breathless reporting. According to Indian website WeddingSutra. The twenty-page hand-painted invitation - some said it was only fourteen - was 'commissioned by Mittal from the well known watercolour artist Florine Asch.
It also included romantic poems by Shelley and a set of verses by Aditya's wife Megha. For the newly-weds and their guests, there was an hour-long drama with song and dance staged under canvas. With music specially written by Bollywood composer and singing star Shankar Mahadevan and choreography and script by Page The production featured professional Bollywood dancers, but starred some unusual actors.
Aditya played Amit and Megha took the role of Vanisha. Tents were made by Rajasthani craftsmen and the dinner, served in the Jardin des Tuileries, was cooked by chefs flown in from Calcutta. Contrasting the wedding expenditure with the financial situation of the redundant steelworkers of Cork, the London Evening Standard headlined its story of the wedding'Obscene!
Any father wants to give his daughter a very special day. Papa, I love you. As he relaxed, he mused on the fact that he still had several pieces missing from his global Page At the end of the vacation, he and Aditya flew to New York and to a meeting with a diminutive sixty-six-year-old billionaire in his office at Lexington Avenue.
In a series of bold financial gambles Ross, who for twenty-six years was executive managing director of Rothschild, had used his private investment and hedge funds, worth more than 2 billion, to take over mothballed Southern textile mills and bankrupted Appalachian coal mines and turned them to profit. Freed of such obligations, fallen companies suddenly looked prime candidates for a renaissance on the cheap.
Some called Ross a vulture capitalist. He preferred the term 'industrial saviour'. But the tag that stuck was 'the bottom-feeder king' as he out-muscled even the likes of heavyweight American investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, in the Page In Ross began picking up rust-bucket steel companies, including the icon of American steel-making, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, to form the International Steel Group.
This is done under the supervision of the federal bankruptcy court, acting on behalf of the creditors and which can grant complete or partial relief from most of the company's debts and its contracts. Often, if the company's debts exceed its assets, then at the completion of bankruptcy the company's owners stockholders all end up with nothing; all their rights and interests are terminated and the company's creditors end up with ownership of the newly reorganised company.
Cold Steel 43 USA. But like world series baseball, which is not 'world' at all, ISG was international in name only. Ross looked to go global and join the consolidation game, but every target he identified had already been snapped up by the even more rapacious Lakshmi Mittal.
Ross decided he must take a closer look at this phenomenon. Their meeting had been scheduled to last half an Page Two hours later, the Mittals and Wilbur Ross were still chatting away about steel and the need for globalisation.
On the surface Lakshmi, tall, quiet and calculating, and Wilbur, small, balding, bespectacled and never afraid to lace his opinions with a volley of quotable adjectives, seemed to have little in common. But both men were outsiders. Both had come up the hard way, buying the kind of assets others laughed at and turning them into cash cows. Both were adept at outmanoeuvring the opposition and admired each other's lack of pretence.
Both were pragmatic, unsentimental realists. Ross was also impressed by the calibre and intelligence of Aditya. Here was the kind of man he'd like to hand his company over to. As Wilbur said, 'it was an immediate love affair'. Love or not, Wilbur was already due at the altar on 23 October to marry his third wife, the twice-married platinum blonde Hilary Geary, fifteen years his junior and a popular fixture on the social sets of New York, Southampton NY and Palm Beach, where the about-to-be-weds planned to buy a house.
As one newspaper put it: It reads: Two days before Ross's wedding the two men met again in a New iork hotel. Unlike Gates and Ross, Mittal was not a gambling man. When it came to deals he had the mentality of the market trader. Two days after their wedding, on Monday 25 October, the new Mr and Mrs Ross would be entertaining two hundred guests at a dinner dance at the Rainbow Room high above the Rockefeller Center, where they were to be serenaded by the sequinned Valerie Romanoff and her Starlight Orchestra.
But Mittal wasn't going to get, on the ticket. Ross and Mittal raised their glasses to a deal that was now done. Lakshmi Mittal had not only bought himself a front-row seat a the North American steel game. In appointing Wilbur Ross Jr to hi board he had acquired a loyal friend and a tenacious ally.
Mitt Steel. The rest of the steel world now had no choice but to tak notice. Mittal Steel now employed , peopL, worldwide and supplied 30 per cent of all the steel used by Ameri can car companies. Fortune magazine named him 'Businessman o the Year in Europe' for his ability to 'combine managerial savvy wit superb acquisitive Page Cold Steel 45 From paperclips to suspension bridge cables, shipbuilding to car bodies, hi-fi chassis, oil and gas pipes, muscular girders and high-spec galvanised goods, Mittal's steel was everywhere.
Tenacious and tough, the boy from Sadulpur had cajoled, sweet-talked and outwitted legions of steel executives from every corner of the planet. But unlike most of them Mittal knew his business from the inside out. Unlike other steel magnates he could actually work the control panel of a blast furnace or a rolling mill. The shy young man with the big moustache and the fringe had become a clean-shaven global citizen as at home on the shop floor and in the canteen 'the only place to really feel the pulse of a company' - as he was in boardrooms and bankers' dining rooms.
Yes, he had the houses, the yachts and all the trappings of wealth, but the only asset that really mattered to him was his 60 million tonnes. He was by 10 million tonnes the biggest steel-maker in the world. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal received a terse congratulatory email.
It was from the man he had just deposed - Guy Dolle, chief executive of Luxembourg-based Arcelor. Alain Davezac gazed across and saw that the humour was gallows. Dolle had not wanted this meeting. Not now. His mind was miles away in Hamilton and the battle with!
Now things looked even worse for Dolle. The Dofasco board was unanimously recommending that its shareholders accept the revised German offer and tender their shares to Thyssen before the expiry date of 24 January. Dolle had just eleven days before the expiry date to interven again and swing Dofasco his way. He would have to persuade Josep' Kinsch and the Arcelor board to raise their offer, and he wasn't goin to do it from the back of a car as it swept through the elegant gate of Lakshmi Mittal's gleaming white three-storey neo-Palladia home.
In Guy Dolle, Arcelor had inherited from the founder company Usinor a brilliant but irascible engineer. He had been born i Compiegne, eighty kilometres north of Paris, the eldest of fou Cold Steel Page When he was four just after the end of the Second World War his family moved to Metz in eastern France, where his father, who made stained glass, was kept busy restoring bombed cathedrals and churches.
Metz is the capital of the Lorraine region, the heart of the French steel industry.
The young Dolle became a boy scout and grew up in the cloth-cap environment of an industry that he would one day join. He excelled at maths and science, but life was tough. When his mother died, Dolle was ten, and he found it hard to study. But local people encouraged him and in he was one of two hundred out of three thousand applicants to win a place at the elitist Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, a special military school, a two-hundred-year-old Napoleonic institution that had bred the occasional general.
After three years Dolle left for the city of Trier, across the border in Germany on the banks of the Moselle River, where he continued to study mathematics and physics, emerging as a trained engineer.
He married Michele, a schoolteacher from Metz, in , but he had yet to find a job. The steel industry beckoned. Dolle joined the French Steel Institute, located near Metz. Ten steel companies in France financed the institute, and for thirteen years he steeped himself in computer applications for controlling the steel process, working on pioneering mainframes ten metres long and a Page In Dolle was recruited by Usinor, one of the flagship French steel companies, where he rose through the ranks to become a senior vice president.
He worked tirelessly to drive the integration of Usinor with Luxembourg's Arbed, which had already subsumed Aceralia of Spain, and was rewarded with the job of chief executive of the combined group, newly named Arcelor to reflect the Luxembourger, French and Spanish parentage.
He worked even harder at the integration of the three companies, maintaining high standards of production and research and development, in which he always excelled. Balding and with a clipped military moustache, Guy Dolle was a quick-thinking and highly respected steel veteran.
Wherever he went he carried with him a magnetic pencil which when placed against any item of steel could tell him its carbon content and even where it was manufactured. He was inclined to be stubborn and at 48 Cold Steel times could become emotionally volatile. Privately, he lived mod estly, one of the lowest-paid chief executives of the CAC 40, France' index of top companies.
He had also come to love] opera. His Page Dolle and Davezac pulled up outside Lakshmi Mittal's large fron door, where the two men were greeted and welcomed discreetly inside by a servant.
Dolle had visited Mittal's home once before and! It was David Khalili, the: Iranian-born Jewish property developer and renowned Islamic ar"" collector, who turned the two dilapidated buildings into one of thcj most remarkable houses in London.
In Mittal tried to buy it, but Khalili' wanted too much money. In he sold it to diminutive Formul One supremo Bernie Page Mittal bought i from him for 57 million in , London's costliest house.
Of all the houses the Mittals had bought this was the only onaj that Lakshmi had chosen. Usha had not been keen to move from the Summer Palace, where she felt happy and settled. Then the children! In a garden room a sculpture of six arms with upturned palms cradled a steel globe.
The piece was commissioned hy Mittal. A close look revealed its true symbolism. Each arm and hand was different. One was moulded from Lakshmi. Another was Usha's. The four remaining arms were those of Aditya and his wife Megha, and Vanisha and her husband Amit. As Davezac complimented him on his ormolu furniture, fine porcelain and Impressionist paintings - the kind of artefacts that most people only see cordoned off by silk ropes and security beams -Mittal explained: Everything you see in this house has a history, so it would take me years to understand the history of Page He was not in the mood for interior design.
Lakshmi and Aditya invited their guests to sit. Drinks were ordered. The four men sat facing one another on large formal sofas by the fireplace, nursing their champagne. They kicked off with steel industry small-talk, second-guessing the market, iron ore supply, personalities on the move, politicians on the make or the meddle, and how the consolidation of the industry was going to pan out.
When it came to the facts and figures of their business Davezac found that he was increasingly captivated by Aditya Mittal's grasp of a complex and globally fragmented industry. For somebody so relatively inexperienced he seemed to know deals inside out. Guy Dolle had no time for Aditya. As far as he was concerned he had just been born rich and lucky.
But, even if they were poles apart as people and he did not trust his charm, he admired Lakshmi as a steelman. Aditya had not worked his way up as he and his father had. What Davezac took for brilliance Dolle regarded as an irritating brashness. Sometimes, like right now, he found it hard to be in the same room as him.
He could not even call Aditya by his name, always referring to him as 'the son'. Then suddenly Lakshmi said to Dolle: He was not in the market for acqui sition advice from Mittal. Dolle tried to steer the conversation back to the business of th next meeting of the International Iron and Steel Institute IISI which he chaired, scheduled for Paris early in February.
Mittal's eyes were focusing on a much bigger agenda. Dolle stopped short. Our two companie are both undervalued in the market. We share the same consolida tion goals. We should discuss how we could work more closel together.
Let's discuss on a friendly basis. Mittal shrugged and smiled patiently. Where we are strong you are weak, and you hav great strengths that we don't have. If we joined forces we could be great Page The normall assured Frenchman had slumped into the sofa.
This was the manj who had told Wilbur Ross after the combative billionaire had give a keynote conference speech in Paris on the consolidation of th steel industry: H was not going to be relegated to a footnote. Three-way mergers work much better,' he insisted, going o into a long account of how Usinor, Arbed and Aceralia had com together to form Arcelor and what a strong and competitive compan it had become, focusing on the high end of the market.
Cold Steel 5i As Dolle played for time and tried to recover his composure, his English began to get ragged. Davezac stepped in to translate for him. Mittal thought. But he didn't pursue it. I am just an employee. I cannot take such decisions. I have to talk to my board, and to others. And even if we were to merge you would become the dominant shareholder. My board would not appreciate that.
They have their own strategy. On the wall was a large painting of a Mughal emperor with a hawk on his arm. Dolle was a devotee of Indian food, and of the country, which he had visited several times. The big glasses were filled with the best French red. As the four men ate, he set about putting Dolle at his ease.
Never less than relaxed, Mittal was always happy to listen and let his guests steer the conversation, touching the tiller here and there himself with a well placed joke or observation. Mittal was a Chelsea fan.
Dolle had the No. As captain e enjoyed the free role, plugging breaches in his defence and a'ways putting away the penalties. He played seventeen seasons, ut he was no Franz Beckenbauer or Franco Baresi. Sometimes he regretted that he had never been quite good enough to turn pro, ut he had kept involved with the playing side, coaching a local mateur team.
Mittal, on the other hand, was more of a directors' bx man. Intelligence reports told him that there h been friction between workforce and management in some Arcel plants. As far as he was concerned Guy Dolle had tick the last box. Arcelor was a profitable company with widely he shares and few labour problems. The concept of Mittal Steel and Arcelor teaming up was not me tioned again as the dinner stretched out over three hours.
Having Page Sitting in the back of Mrs Mittal's car, Guy Dolle was no committal. There was a silent surliness about him. He had visio of his host's smiling face, the food, the opulent surroundings, and being pole-axed. He did not want to talk any more about getti into bed with Lakshmi Mittal. As Lakshmi and Aditya watched the car pull away into t night, father turned to son.
It was a major statement of intent. It sends a message that these guys at ThyssenKrupp are very serious. It was no surprise when the Dofasco board issued a statement 'unanimously recommending to shareholders that they accept the offer and reject the Arcelor offer'.
Dolle wondered at the strange timing of the new Thyssen offer, ast night Mittal had told him to increase his bid; the next morning nyssen had ramped up its offer.
Dolle was deeply troubled, "thout Dofasco, Arcelor was vulnerable to Mittal. If Thyssen got iasco it would have its hands on Arcelor's galvanising technology, aking it a keener competitor. The libero sensed fissures appearing 54 Cold Steel in his defence. He recalled Alain Davezac's words as they werj driven away from the Mittal dinner: The chairman was at home. Dolle told him. He and Kinsch agreed the amount. It also covered Thyssen's break fee.
It was a high-risk throw of the dice. As a hostile black knigW Arcelor had still not gained access to Dofasco's confidential data Page As a friendly whi' knight, ThyssenKrupp had studied the books and had based its bi ding accordingly. Because the conditions of both offers were now exactly the sa Don Pether and his board had no alternative but to announce t Arcelor's was a superior bid in cash terms. It would now have open its books to Dolle. Hoping against hope, Pether ga ThyssenKrupp until 23 January to match.
Thyssen was alrea heavily indebted, thanks to financing its huge pension deficit, matching Arcelor would have added to that burden of debt, jeo dising its future credit-worthiness in financial markets. Cold Steel 55 Page He had just flown with Aditya in his helicopter from Battersea heliport to catch his private jet.
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It would be mid-afternoon in New York. He pressed out the numbers on his phone and waited for Lloyd Blankfein, the president and chief operating officer of the Goldman Sachs Group, one of the largest global investment banks, to take his call. Mittal had never used Goldman Sachs before, but he had met Blankfein several times and they had become friends. But it was a class act when it came to mergers and acquisitions, and acted as financial advisers to some of the most important companies, largest governments and wealthiest families in the world.
Blankfein, a balding man with an astronaut's smile, was thrilled personally that he was Page Working a big deal with the world's number one steel-maker would also keep Goldman in coveted top spot of the merger-and-acquisition adviser league table, ahead of arch-rivals Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, in the high-testosterone, high-billing world of investment banking top dog always got to charge its clients top dollar.
I want you to explore strategic options and analyse the feasibility,' Mittal told Blankfein. Lakshmi Mittal wanted to explore a second option to Arcelor, a coming together with the Germans. Thursday 19 January, 9. Berkeley Square House, London The dappled, peeling trunks of the gnarled two-hundred-year-ol plane trees in the heart of Mayfair, famous for its society nightclub and private casinos, were reflected in the sheer glass atrium o Berkeley Square House, where Lakshmi Mittal had headquartere his company since Tadjbakhs studious, well tailored and soigne, had been up most of the nigh on the Internet, gleaning all he could about an industry that wa being transformed by the inexorable rise of Lakshmi Niwas Mitta' The Swiss-born, French-educated son of an Iranian diploma Tadjbakhsh was now a US citizen and had trained at Harvard as lawyer before making his name in mergers and acquisitions, but H was not a steel expert.
As he welcomed the two men to his utilitarian suite of offices o the seventh floor, Lakshmi Mittal was even more convinced tha' when it came to industrial logic a merging of Mittal Steel and Arcel was a rock-solid banker. The previous evening he had tested th waters with Schulz for a merger with ThyssenKrupp, but there wet too many problems.
ThyssenKrupp was not just a steel-maker, it w an industrial conglomerate; so merging just its steel operations w fraught with problems. And then, any deal would face major co petition difficulties in Europe and the States. Cold Steel Page Mittal set out the logic of his deal.
It was simple and it was short. Mittal shrugged. A friendly deal is always best, but Mr Dolle tells me the cultures of our companies are not compatible and refuses to meet to discuss. One of the reasons Arcelor is trying so hard to acquire Dofasco is to escape from us. There was no alternative. Tadjbakhsh counselled against.
A cabal of banks would be needed to help finance what promised to be the Page The EU Competition Commissioner, concerned about monopoly, would have to be brought on side along with politicians and trade unions worried about potential job cuts and plant closures.
Then there would have to be a valuation of Arcelor on which to base an offer that was attractive to its shareholders and the market.
That in itself would be difficult because Arcelor would refuse to open its books to a hostile raider. Although he had Goldman as lead advisers to craft the bid and ouild the assault team of bankers, lawyers, political advisers and PR spinners, Lakshmi Mittal wanted one of his most trusted lieutenants at the very hub of it as a kind of iiber project-manager.
Aditya called Maheshwari 'the split rock', a bit of American political jargon he 'iked to use in presentations. The trickiest arena of all in which the Mittals woul have to perform was that of the market regulators in Franc Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium, where Arcelor operated, and thos in the Netherlands and the United States, where Mittal Steel wa' listed. In what would be a legal minefield, every single one of the would have to clear Mittal's offer before he could open it formally t Arcelor's shareholders.
If he had been bidding in the UK for a Britis' company this process would have taken no more than two months. Mittal needed lawyers fast. By Simultaneously one of his colleagues wa signing up a senior partner in the Barcelona office of Garrigues, th Iberian peninsula's biggest law firm, to act as counsel on issues ther At 5. He looked like Ben Stiller, but he talked like Al Pacino. As head of European inves ment banking he was always on the move, frequently starting conversation in one country and finishing it in another.
Zaoui ha landed in Mayfair to lead the Goldman team. Almost immediately he broug his talents for acquisition back to Europe, which was freeing itself its economic shackles and allowing American banks to sweep in an turn the slower-paced, clubbier world of European investme Cold Steel 59 banking upside down.
Taking advantage of the euro, they set about expanding and redefining Europe's capital markets. As Old Europe went global and became 'Euro Inc. His campaign honours included the battles between banking giants HSBC and Credit Commercial de France , energy and utilities companies ItalEnergia and Montedison , metals and mining outfits Pechiney and Alcan and in the takeover tussle between pharmaceutical companies Aventis and Sanofi.
When Goldman opened its London office it had forty staff. Now Zaoui managed a team of nine Page Just like steel, investment banking - along with Zaoui's lucrative share and bonus package knew no boundaries. As he walked quickly towards the serried ranks of lifts he was excited at the prospect of working with Lakshmi Mittal. Like Mittal, he enjoyed being number one. And his name was Michael Zaoui, Yoel's elder brother. Yoel Zaoui joined the second kick-off meeting and listened to Mittal describing his grand vision.
Although he did not speak at great length, over the course of the meeting it seemed clear that he had grasped every implication and nuance of what he was about to unleash. And unlike many clients he had worked for, Lakshmi Mittal hid his ego well. And the how is really up to us to figure out in discussions with you. We must keep this core team as small as we Can to minimise leaks. We have no time for bureau cracy and long communication lines.
Following the Sidor bugging scar Mittal had had his offices swept weekly by the security spooks fro: Control Risks Group. Control Risks describes itself as 'a leader i; strategic internal audit partnering, protecting organisations from aj external hacker attack, and the risks posed by internal parties' fro cleaners to consultants. Fro now until the offer is tabled we will call this transaction Proje Olympus. Mittal Steel will be referred to by the codename Mars, an! Arcelor will be Atlas,' he said, mixing up his Greek and Roma myths.
Everybody knew that poor Atlas was condemned by Zeus bear the heavens upon his shoulders. Yoel Zaoui was probably n aware that according to some mythologists Atlas was original' known as a cunning god of 'dangerous wisdom'.
Friday 20 January Lyon Guy Dolle was driving en route to a short skiing break when h phone rang. I would like to come to Page ThyssenKrupp had n responded to his bid.
They now had only three days to do so. The twenty-fourth. In the late afternoon. Cold Steel 61 'Why the rush? While Dolle took to his skis Yoel Zaoui and his team merged strategy and numbers into an offer. Over the weekend Lakshmi Mittal realised that there was no way Guy Dolle was ever going to sit down and discuss friendly mergers with him. He also realised that if he bid for an Arcelor that had just won Dofasco this would pose him major problems with American regulators, who could block him on monopoly grounds.
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Always thinking laterally, Mittal had seen that there was a way around Page On 22 January he called Ekkehard Schulz. By the time he had finished talking, Schulz was stunned.
Despite a distinguished career he had relatively little experience of big deals. And he could not believe that he was to have another chance to bag a Canadian jewel for the Thyssen crown. Modern repro walnut, it looked as though it had been inspired by an aircraft carrier deck and escaped from a hotel.
On the other side were a dozen lawyers and bankers. Leading the posse of Cleary Gottlieb lawyers was lanky, handsome, bespectacled and Harvard-educated Pierre-Yves Chabert, who had flown in from Paris to mesh in the legal planning.
Lakshmi Mittal began the meeting. Luxembourg is also due to implement the EU competi tion directive by May of this year and they may frame their law i such a way as to block any takeover, so we have challenges there. Cold Steel 63 e are operating in a global legal framework there will also be a lot of uncertainties that we will have to overcome. On the plus side Arcelor has no key shareholders that can block this at the end of the day so we believe that the market will ultimately prevail whatever noison pills or roadblocks they might throw in our way.
As long as you have the right price,' Chabert said, 'the market will give you a deal. In my experience it is very difficult to organise a successful defence against a deal if the price is right.
Chabert was amazed. In all the takeovers he had worked on this kind of Page There was no geographical overlap between Arcelor and Mittal Steel, beyond Dofasco. With Goldman they would hammer out Mittal's opening offer share price.
That day Arcelor's shares stood at Mittal would pitch higher, but how much higher? Mittal Steel had links with Maitland, a London agency headed by its founder Angus Maitland, a wily, shrewd Scot who Was a doyen in the cut and thrust of takeover battles and whose clients included Tesco, Cadbury Schweppes and GlaxoSmithKline. His small, slim frame neatly 64 Cold Steel attired in short-sleeved shirt and shorts, Maitland was relaxing on the proceeds, cruising the Caribbean on his chartered yacht, wheri the call from London came through on the satellite phone.
I need a lead agency with strong external suppo in a number of different countries. Can you help? Maitland almost lost his glass of thirteen-year-old malt over I side. In the world of PR, such calls came infrequently, but when the did the large dollar signs started flashing immediately. A consultan would drop everything and rush to the aid of its client, with a deds cated team pulled off other client work, and join forces with th; bankers and lawyers on the deal.
In normal circumstances, assuming he was not conflicted wi another client, Angus Maitland would have rushed to Davidson office, terms of business in his hand. But he was miles away, Page