In this new world location is less important than

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In this new world, location is less important than cost efficiency, and highly mobile investors and entrepreneurs such as Mittal — an Indian national, based in London, with a company headquartered in the Netherlands — are making the rules. Even in Paris, amid the official fury and calls for the deal to be blocked, some acknowledged that the tide of history is turning against the old habit of looking at business in purely national or European terms. "I understand the astonishment and emotion" the bid caused, said Luc Chatel, a lawmaker from President Jacques Chirac's ump party. But he pointed out that the French find it natural for automaker Renault to buy a controlling stake in its Japanese rival Nissan, and added: "What do you prefer? To see European industries shift production to India, or to see Indians investing in Europe?" The history of the Mittal Group can be traced back to the 1950s, when Mohan Mittal, the father of the Lakshmi N. Mittal (LN Mittal), the head of Mittal Steel, laid the foundation of the
Ispat Group in India with his brothers and children. At the time, India followed a socialistic pattern of development, and the economic environment did not encourage large scale private investment. The Mittals therefore looked for options abroad, and in 1976, they invested $15 million in a steel mill in Indonesia which they named PT Ispat Indo. In their search for non-scrap iron to feed the plant in Indonesia, the Mittals went to Trinidad and Tobago. In 1989, they leased Iscott, a loss-making government owned steel firm in Trinidad and Tobago. Adopting innovative practices and cutting edge technology, the Mittals managed to bring about a turnaround at Iscott and within a year, Iscott became profitable. This set the stage for future expansions. During the early 1990s, the Mittals further strengthened their growth strategy when they acquired another non-performing state-owned mill, this time in Mexico. The firm soon became the group's cash cow and earned huge profits through the 1990s. In 1994, Ispat International was split from the Ispat Group in India, and concentrated on international acquisitions under the leadership of LN Mittal. Another important acquisition from a strategic viewpoint was that of a steel plant in Kazakhstan in 1995. The plant was in very bad shape and there were not many takers for it in the industry. However, LN Mittal saw potential in the plant, as it had a distinct locational advantage in being fairly close to the Chinese border, since China was emerging as a major steel consumer. Over the next few years LN Mittal acquired several steel plants in places like Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Canada. Some of these mills were privately owned by LN Mittal under LNM Holdings (LNM), of which the publicly-traded Ispat International (Ispat) was also a part. By the late 1990s, Ispat had several steel plants around the world and controlled nearly one-tenths of the global steel production...
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