Tatas have to wait as Corus gives CSN more time

Nov 27 | Updated: Nov 28 2006, 07:13am hrs
Corus Group Plc, the subject of a takeover battle between Tata Steel and Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA, plans to delay shareholder meetings set for December 4 to allow CSN more time to prepare a formal offer.

Corus would propose to shareholders at the December 4 meeting to adjourn the extraordinary general meeting and court meeting until December 20, the London-based steelmaker said on Monday in a statement.

The board wants to be seen as doing the right thing for the shareholders, and that has to allow CSN a full look at their books, said Stephen Pope, head of equity research at Cantor Fitzgerald LP in London.

CSN, based in Rio de Janeiro, offered Corus shareholders 475 pence a share on November 17, subject to due diligence. Mumbai- based Tata Steel made a bid on October 20, without such conditions.

CSNs proposal valued Corus, the former British Steel Plc, at $8 billion. Tatas offer of 455 pence was rejected by Standard Life Plc, Coruss biggest shareholder, as too low.

Shares of Corus fell 4.5 pence, or 0.9%, to 500.5 pence at 11:43 a.m. in London, having fallen as much as 1.5% to 497.25 pence.