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MITTAL'S PURCHASE OF ISG APPROVED BY STOCKHOLDERS

Shareholders in the United States and the Netherlands approved the final step in tycoon Lakshmi Mittal's bid to create one of the world's largest steel businesses, the company said Tuesday.

U.S.-based steelmaker International Steel Group was acquired for stock and cash valuing it at about $4.5 billion, Mittal Steel Company NV Chief Operating Officer Malay Mukherjee said.

Mittal announced plans last fall to take over Richfield, Ohio-based ISG and merge it with two companies owned by his family, Ispat International NV and LNM Holdings NV.

Ispat and LNM had sales of more than $22 billion in 2004, and the combined Mittal Steel Company NV -- based in Rotterdam -- is expected to have sales of $31.5 billion and 165,000 employees. The Mittal family owns 88 percent.

ISG operates a plant in Lackawanna, that it acquired from the former Bethlehem Steel Co.