Backroom politicking, a failed white knight and one of the world's richest men all played a role in the third biggest deal of the year. Mittal Steel bid for Arcelor, its next biggest competitor, in January, and was promptly rebuffed. Arcelor itself the merged product of French, Spanish and Luxembourg companies turned its nose up at Lakshmi Mittal, the India-born businessman whose wealth is surpassed only by Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's. Arcelor enlisted Severstal of Russia to intercept. In June, Mittal prevailed by doubling its offer. The $71 billion deal creates a global giant with three times the steel-making capacity of its nearest rival, Nippon Steel.