Casablanca Rejects Board Deal With Mining Co.

Mar 11 2014 | 8:41am ET

For activist hedge fund Casablanca Capital, it's all or nothing in its battle with Cliffs Natural Resources.

Cliffs said yesterday that Casablanca had rejected its offer to appoint two representatives to its board, as well as a third mutually acceptable director to be named later. The mining company moved to assuage the hedge fund after it nominated six candidates to Cliffs' board last week.

If all six of Casablanca's candidates win, the hedge fund would have a majority on Cliffs' board. Casablanca owns 5.2% of the company.

Cliffs, which also postponed the record date for its May 13 annual meeting at Casablanca's request, said it hoped to avoid a costly proxy fight with the hedge fund.

Casablanca wants Cliffs to spin off its international operations and restructure its U.S. business as a master-limited partnership. It also wants to replace CEO Gary Halverson.

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