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CSN to use pounds 4bn loan for bid.

The Brazilian steel group making a rival bid for steel group Corus, will fund the takeover with a pounds 4 billion loan.

Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, and Barclays are reported to have put in place the non-recourse loan for Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN).

It is believed CSN would also inject up to pounds 1 billion of its own equity.

CSN announced its 475 pence per share offer for the British steelmaker late on Friday, trumping the agreed 455 pence per share offer made by India's Tata Steel group.

Tata Steel owner Ratan Tata said he had been surprised by the rival offer, which throws his group's agreed takeover into jeopardy.

Mr Tata was being interviewed by a national newspaper when he first heard of CSN's bid, which values Corus at pounds 5.3 billion. Tata's offer is currently worth pounds 5.1 billion and both offers include around pounds 1 billion of debt.

Moments before the news broke, Mr Tata had spoken of his plans to integrate Corus into his family-owned firm and the prospect of selling British-made steel in Asia.

Mr Tata said his group had no contingency plan for a counter-offer, news of which he described initially as "interesting".

He said: "Corus told us that this probably was not going to happen," refusing to give any indication of Tata's next step.

An Indian newspaper has suggested that Tata Steel is planning boost its offer this week. A senior Tata official in New Delhi declined to comment.

The CSN offer, which is subject to due diligence and finalisation of funding, means steelmakers from two of the world's emerging economic superpowers - India and Brazil - could slug it out for control of Corus as they seek to gain ground on number-one steelmaker Arcelor Mittal.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 20, 2006
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