In today's Le Monde (dated tomorrow) Mr. Lakshmi Mittal stated that since the "merger" with Arcelor debt has been brought down to 23-24 billion dollars at the end of the 2007 first quarter.  This success has come as a result of the profits generated by the group and the synergy savings already realized, in the area of about 570 million dollars with an objective of realizing 1.8 billion dollars in synergies by 2008.  The main objective is to maintain the group's financial rating. 

Mr. Mittal, when asked about the possible acquisition of Vallourec, said that he did not comment on rumors.   When asked if he was going to help his "friend" François Pinault who, it is rumored, is interested in the Vinci building construction group he said "How can I help him?  I don't know what his projects are.  We have not talked about Vinci."

 


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