¿Los accionistas deberían ser reyes?

La historia tiene lugar en Francia, en Bélgica y en Luxemburgo. Pero, en realidad, es una historia paneuropea y, en términos económicos, abarca a todo el mundo. Mittal, el mayor fabricante de acero del mundo, logró ganar el control de Arcelor, el segundo fabricante más importante, a través de lo que inicialmente fue una oferta de compra hostil.

Esta no es una simple adquisición corporativa; es un conflicto entre modelos empresarios y sociales. Arcelor, originariamente francesa y luxemburguesa pero hoy predominantemente belga, tiene una base fuerte en Brasil y opera en gran parte del mundo. Se especializa en productos de acero especiales de alta calidad destinados a usos muy complejos. Estos productos de alta calidad son adquiridos mediante contratos a mediano y largo plazo, principalmente por clientes de larga data. Arcelor, uno de los fabricantes de acero más antiguos del mundo, depende muy poco del mercado mundial sumamente competitivo de acero bruto y su fuerza de trabajo es (en promedio) altamente calificada y estable.

Mittal, en cambio, es un conglomerado que, de la nada, se convirtió en la principal compañía de acero del mundo en apenas dos décadas. Lo hizo consolidando y racionalizando de manera brillante plantas de acero dispersas en todo el mundo. Su presidente es indio, pero no tiene ninguna fábrica en la India. Mittal está principalmente radicada en Europa del este, pero también tiene una fuerte presencia en Asia (Corea del Sur) y América latina.

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