ISS, Glass Lewis Back Casablanca In Cliffs Fight

Jul 18 2014 | 11:44am ET

Casablanca Capital has won the backing of two influential proxy advisories in its battle to take control of miner Cliffs Natural Resources, the hedge fund said.

Both Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. are strongly backing its slate of six nominees to Cliffs’ 11-member board of directors, Casablanca said in a statement. The hedge fund wants Cliffs to spin off its international operations and to restructure its U.S. business as a master-limited partnership. It also wants to install Lourenco Goncalves as CEO.

Cliffs’ annual meeting is scheduled for July 29.

Casablanca has rejected Cliffs’ offer of two seats on the board, arguing that the company has suffered through “an extended period of gross underperformance and poor decisionmaking that has led to significant shareholder value destruction.” At least two of the hedge fund’s nominees will be elected later this month, as Cliffs has nominated only nine candidates.

Cliffs has decried Casablanca’s campaign as “costly and distracting.”

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