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Arcelor has at long last turned friendly toward rival Mittal Steel (MT) - Get Arcelor Mittal NY Registry Shares NEW Report.

The board of Arcelor unanimously backed a takeover by Mittal after the suitor boosted its offer to 40.44 euros, or $50.59 a share, and increased its cash portion, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal

Sunday that cited people close to the matter.

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Under the latest bid, the majority of Arcelor's board would consist of independent directors, the report said. Arcelor Chairman Joseph Kinsch will be chairman of the merged company for three years, while Mittal¿s Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal will be board president. The Mittal family will have ownership of 43% of the company.

Mittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, first made a hostile bid in January, but Arcelor, which ranks No. 2, put up fierce resistance and sought out a white knight in the form of Russian steel magnate Alexei Mordashov. Many Arcelor shareholders disapproved of the deal with Mordashov.

Mittal shares rose 72 cents Friday to $32.17.