FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp upped the stakes on Tuesday in its game of poker with rival Arcelor over the purchase of Canadian steelmaker Dofasco
The Duesseldorf-based white knight sweetened its friendly takeover bid for Dofasco to C$63 per share to match Arcelor, which raised its hostile offer to that amount shortly before Christmas from an earlier price of C$56 per share.
"ThyssenKrupp's decision to increase its offer reflects the quality and strategic value of Dofasco," Chief Executive Ekkehard Schulz said in a statement in recognition of the "significant growth opportunities for our combined North American steel operations."
ThyssenKrupp added it would extend the deadline for acceptance of its bid to January 25. It had previously offered C$61.50 per share.
Like its smaller German rival, Arcelor is heavily dependent on the European steel market with just minor exposure to North America.
Whereas just over three-quarters of Arcelor's revenue is generated in Europe and 8 percent in North America, 88 percent of ThyssenKrupp's carbon steel turnover relies on European demand while only 5 percent stems from NAFTA.
ThyssenKrupp expected the acquisition of Dofasco along with its investment in a Brazilian slab mill would move it up in global rankings to the sixth-largest producer of crude steel with an estimated 25.5 million tonnes from the 10th largest forging just some 16.8 million tonnes in 2004.
Dofasco is a significant producer of hot and cold rolled steel strip.