LONDON, June 20 — The Russian billionaire Aleksei Mordashov changed the terms today under which he would buy a big stake in the European steel giant Arcelor, in an effort to salvage a deal that is facing increasing opposition from shareholders.
Mr. Mordashov said that he was now planning to acquire a stake of just 25 percent in Arcelor, down from as much as 38 percent when he struck a deal with the company last month, and that he would no longer seek to lead a strategic management committee that would give him some control over Arcelor’s long-term future. He also said he would no longer contribute 1.25 billion euros ($1.57 billion) in cash, because of his reduced stake.
The move is the latest maneuver in a heated fight for control of some or all of Arcelor, a Luxembourg-based company that is the world’s second largest steel manufacturer. Mittal Steel, the world’s largest steel company, has been trying to woo Arcelor into a merger for about five months, but its overtures were rejected until last week, when Arcelor executives started negotiations with their counterparts at Mittal.