The Mittals story
Posted by g.e. on April 20, 2008
A nice review of Cold Steel from FT.com:
Europe’s identity has been partly forged in the crucible of steel. In 1951 six nations founded the European Coal and Steel Community to pool their industrial resources and proclaim a new era of international co-operation after decades of war.
Over the next half century, this economic community developed into the European Union and several of the continent’s steel firms merged to form the world’s most technologically advanced steel group, Arcelor. With its consensual style of management and labour relations, the Luxembourg-based company appeared a model of European industrial strength, scientific prowess and social market democracy.
But in 2006 this cosy stakeholder capitalism was shattered when Lakshmi Mittal, a swashbuckling steel magnate from India, launched a massive hostile takeover bid. Here was a bold entrepreneur from the emerging sub-continent taking a tilt at one of Europe’s most established companies. It was, the authors of Cold Steel contend, the takeover that defined an era.