Casablanca Formally Nominates Majority Slate For Miner’s Board

Jun 12 2014 | 9:32am ET

Hedge fund Casablanca Capital is moving forward with its bid to take control of mining company Cliffs Natural Resources, spurning the company’s latest olive branch.

The New York-based firm said yesterday that it had filed its definitive proxy statement with regulators, seeking the election of six directors to Cliffs’ 11-member board of directors. The move follows Cliffs’ decision to nominate only nine candidates, ensuring that at least two of Casablanca’s will join the board after its annual meeting in July.

Cliffs said it made that choice after discussions with shareholders. The company had previously offered Casablanca two seats, which the hedge fund rejected.

Casablanca made clear that it still isn’t satisfied with just two seats, with Chairman Donald Drapkin arguing that Cliffs’ “current board has presided over an extended period of gross underperformance and poor decisionmaking that has led to significant shareholder value destruction.”

Casablanca wants Cliffs to spin off its international operations and to restructure its U.S. business as a master-limited partnership. One of its six candidates, Lourenco Goncalves, would take over as Cliffs CEO should the hedge fund prevail next month.

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