ArcelorMittal, partner nearing absolute control of Baffinland

February 8th, 2011 - 1:01 pm ICT by IANS  

ArcelorMittal By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, Feb 8 (IANS) ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Inc., which jointly acquired Canada’s iron ore-rich Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation last month, Monday announced further consolidation of their stake in the Toronto-based company.Holding about 60 percent of Baffinland stock at the time of their takeover, the two partners said Monday that they have acquired an additional 89,710,019 common shares to take their stake past 90 percent.

As they inch towards an absolute control of Baffinland, the joint owners also extended till February 17 their deadline for mopping up the remaining common shares at the rate of $1.50 per share.

Abandoning their rivalry to take over Baffinland, ArcelorMittal and Nunavut made a successful joint bid for the Toronto-based iron-ore giant to acquire it for $590 million last month.

Currently, ArcelorMittal controls the larger stake of 70 percent and Nunavat 30 percent stake in Baffinland.

The battle for the valuable Baffinland began in September when Nunavat offered 80 cents a share for a majority stake in it and ArcelorMittal entered the fray with its offer of $1.10 per share for 100 percent control.

Baffinland attracted the Luxembourg-based giant as it owns 365 million tonnes of iron ore at its Mary River site in Canadian Arctic.

Once the Mary River project is completed at a cost of $4 billion, it is expected to yield up to 18 million tonnes of iron ore annually for up to two decades, say experts.

In fact, investment bank Jennings Capital Inc. has put the Mary River project as “the best undeveloped iron ore deposit in the world.”

To ensure its future iron-ore supplies, ArcelorMittal was determined not to let Baffinland slip out of its hands.

After its takeover, ArcelorMittal and Nunavat recast the board of directors January 27, appointing Aditya Mittal as the new chairman of Baffinland.

With revenues of $65.1 billion from its operations in 60 countries, ArcelorMittal is the biggest steel company in the world. It accounted for eight percent of the world’s steel output in 2009.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

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