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Essar Steel takeover | ArcelorMittal identifies new India headquarters, hires senior executives

The world's largest steelmaker has sounded out to key executives in companies like JSW Steel and Tata Steel
Dec 3, 2019 / 10:55 AM IST

ArcelorMittal is preparing ground for its takeover of Essar Steel and has identified a site in Mumbai's Lower Parel that could be its new corporate headquarters in India.

The world's largest steelmaker has also reached out to a few senior executives in the industry and has already hired at least two of them.

"It is work in progress and the company is finalising names for the CXO positions. The thrust is higher on getting candidates from private sector firms competing in this sector," said an official from the industry.

Sources said management consulting firm Korn Ferry has been working on the mandate since March. With the Supreme Court clearing the way for the acquisition, in its November 15 order, the pace of hiring has gathered pace.

A few key executives at companies such as Tata Steel and JSW Steel have been sounded out, three industry sources said.

Historically, LN Mittal, the Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, has hired senior executives from state-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to man his operations across the world. This time too, the billionaire will tap into the talent pool of the public sector company, but the focus could be more on resources of private firms.

"The hiring is for some key positions in functions such as operations, finance, sales and marketing," said one of the executives cited above.

The official added that it is likely that the process may extend to another two-to-three months. "Even expats are being considered for the positions," added the executive.

While ArcelorMittal declined to comment on the story, it had earlier indicated that the transaction may be completed before the end of the year.

"After completion, ArcelorMittal will jointly own and operate ESIL (Essar Steel) in partnership with Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan’s largest steel producer and the third largest steel producer in the world, in-line with the joint venture formation agreement signed by the two companies," the company had earlier said in a statement.

New office

While ArcelorMittal has multiple offices in India, including in Gurugram, New Delhi and Kolkata, the company may base its corporate office in Mumbai, given the proximity to Hazira, in Gujarat, where Essar Steel's plants are located.

The facility is one of the biggest single-location plants in the world that produces flat steel.

"The move for new office will become more visible in the next two-to-three weeks once the banks receive payment and ArcelorMittal is handed the controls," another executive said.

A PTI report quoted State Bank of India's Managing Director Arijit Basu, who heads commercial client, saying the "money should come in soon. We expect it will come by December-end."

ArcelorMittal had won the bid for Essar Steel, having received NCLT approval for its Rs 42,000 crore bid.
Prince Mathews Thomas Prince Mathews Thomas heads the corporate bureau of Moneycontrol. He has been covering the business world for 16 years, having worked in The Hindu Business Line, Forbes India, Dow Jones Newswires, The Economic Times, Business Standard and The Week. A Chevening scholar, Prince has also authored The Consolidators, a book on second generation entrepreneurs.
M Saraswathy
first published: Dec 3, 2019 10:55 am

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