Cliffs CEO says Nippon-US Steel deal has ’zero chance’ of US approval

U.S. STEEL-M

Reuters
First Published15 May 2024
Cliffs CEO says Nippon-US Steel deal has 'zero chance' of US approval
Cliffs CEO says Nippon-US Steel deal has ’zero chance’ of US approval

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, - Nippon Steel's deal to buy U.S. Steel has "zero chance" of winning government approval amid continued opposition from the United Steel Workers union and "needs to be unraveled," the CEO of rival suitor Cleveland-Cliffs said on Tuesday.

Lourenco Goncalves told reporters at the American Iron and Steel Institute's annual meeting that his bid had the full support of the U.S. government, President Joe Biden, a Democrat who wants U.S. Steel to remain American owned, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"It would be a silly movement to wait for the election in the hopes that a different outcome would be allowed to them, because I also have support from President Trump - personal support from President Trump," Goncalves said.

Japan's Nippon Steel is pursuing a nearly $15 billion cash deal to buy the iconic 123-year-old U.S. Steel, despite resistance from Biden, the union and many members of Congress while a U.S. national security review is conducted.

Cleveland-Cliffs put U.S. Steel in play last August with an unsolicited $7.3 billion bid, but Goncalves has said he would consider a lower offer if the Nippon deal is scuttled.

Goncalves on Tuesday likened the transaction to a patient on life support.

"We're waiting for an end. It's like a sick patient that sits on a bed with a bunch of tubes and sensors around him. He is still alive but for what?" Goncalves added.

U.S. Steel has argued that its labor agreement with the United Steel Workers does not give the union a right to veto the transaction. A U.S. Steel spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on Goncalves' latest remarks.

Nippon Steel has said it is confident of completing the acquisition of U.S. Steel, despite the opposition it has faced from the union and politicians.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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