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Loser in Corus auction can retry: Experts

Source: PTI
January 29, 2007 16:15 IST
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While the winner of the takeover battle between India's Tata Steel and Brazil's CSN for Corus will be finalised by February 1, the losing side can make another attempt to acquire the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker even after the end of auction process.

As per the guidelines laid down by the UK Takeover Panel, the auction process would begin on January 30 and neither Tata Steel nor CSN can revise its offer price or make a new offer after the auction concludes on Thursday, February 1.

However, experts believe there is a catch in the terms and conditions for the process -- the two bidders can revise their bid or make an all new bid even after the end of the auction process if there emerges a third suitor for Corus.

According to the panel's announcement: "Following the conclusion of the auction process, neither offeror is permitted to revise the price of its offer for Corus from that established by means of the auction procedure, or to introduce any new alternative offer unless, under the normal provisions of the Code, a third party announces a firm intention to make an offer for Corus."

A senior lawyer at London-based corporate law firm Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP, Roy Montague-Jones told PTI: "The Panel is looking to establish an orderly framework for the resolution of the competitive situation and to provide that neither Tata Steel nor CSN can amend its offer following the end of auction on February 1, unless another bidder emerges.

Roy has advised various Indian and global companies on their merger and acquisition deals, while his firm was an advisor to one of the bidders in a previous auction held by the Panel for acquisition of QXL Ricardo in 2005.

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