by Bianca Flowers
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The international head of United Steelworkers (USW) said on Monday the union supports North American steel producer Cleveland-Cliffs’ bid to acquire rival United States Steel Corp, adding that the company is the best strategic buyer.
Cleveland-Cliffs said Sunday it has offered to buy US Steel in a cash and stock deal at $35 a share, a 43% premium to US Steel’s last closing price.
Cliffs announced its bid after US Steel rejected the offer as “unreasonable” and instead announced a formal review process, saying the company had received multiple bids for parts or all of its work.
“Cliffs is committed to the blast furnace segment of the steel market, and US Steel is not,” the union’s international president, Thomas Conway, told Reuters in an interview. “I think they are committed to the steel industry and to success.”
United Steelworker’s collective bargaining agreement with US Steel specifies that the company must take the votes of union leadership into account when making takeover bids.
US Steel said it had received “multiple unsolicited offers”. Conway said none of the other bidders have come forward to request union support.
(Reporting by Bianca Flowers in Chicago; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)