ArcelorMittal, Nunavut deal ends Baffinland war

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ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron Ore have agreed a joint offer for Canadian mining company Baffinland, ending a two-month bidding war, ArcelorMittal said in a statement on Friday.

The offer by ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, and private equity-backed Nunavut was worth Can$ 1.50 (1.10 euros/$1.50) per share.

ArcelorMittal had an offer of Can$ 1.40 per share on the table for the entire company, while Nunavut had offered Can$1.45 per share for 60 percent of the capital.

ArcelorMittal had originally offered Can$1.10 per share.

"Together with Nunavut Iron, we are providing a more attractive offer to Baffinland shareholders than either of us were prepared to provide on our own," said Peter Kukielski, ArcelorMittal's head of mining.

"Our joint offer provides shareholders outstanding value and provides certainty to all Baffinland shareholders," he said.

Under the deal, ArcelorMittal would hold 70 percent of Baffinland, while Nunavut would hold 30 percent.

"We are pleased to be joining together with ArcelorMittal on this venture," said Nunavut chairman Bruce Walter.

ArcelorMittal has set a deadline of January 24 to respond to the offer.

ArcelorMittal has already locked up a quarter of Baffinland's shares while Nunavut has 10.5 percent.

Baffinland specialises in the development of iron ore sites along the Mary River in northern Canada.

© 2011 AFP

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