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Japanese steel company to purchase U.S. Steel for nearly $15B

PITTSBURGH — Japan’s largest steelmaker, Nippon Steel Corporation, is planning to purchase U.S. Steel.

A press release issued on BusinessWire says NSC plans to acquire U.S. Steel for $55 per share, for a total of nearly $15 billion.

The release says this acquisition was unanimously approved by the board of directors for both NSC and U.S. Steel. It’s expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2024.

In a post on Facebook, U.S. Steel called the transaction a “pivotal moment in our history.”

U.S. Steel will reportedly retain its name, brand and headquarters in Pittsburgh. The deal will also honor collective bargaining agreements with the United Steelworkers Union.

NSC says this transaction will “enhance its world-leading manufacturing and technology capabilities” and allow the company to expand geographically for the benefit of stakeholders.

President and Chief Executive Officer of U. S. Steel, David B. Burritt, feels confident that the acquisition is the best decision. He speaks to both U.S. Steel employees and customers in a statement that reads in part:

“This transaction realizes the tremendous value today in our company and is the result of our Board of Directors’ comprehensive and thorough strategic alternatives process. For our U. S. Steel employees, who I continue to be thankful for, the transaction combines like-minded steel companies with an unwavering focus on safety, shared goals, values, and strategies underpinned by rich histories. For customers, U. S. Steel and NSC create a truly global steel company with combined capabilities and innovation capable of meeting our customers’ evolving needs. Today’s announcement also benefits the United States – ensuring a competitive, domestic steel industry, while strengthening our presence globally. Our shared decarbonization focus is expected to enhance and accelerate our ability to provide customers with innovative steel solutions to meet sustainability goals.”

NSC President Eiji Hashimoto is excited about bringing the two companies together and says they’ve long admired U.S. Steel.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with the U. S. Steel team to bring together the best of our companies and move forward together as the ‘Best Steelmaker with World-Leading Capabilities,’” his statement said in part.

United Steelworkers international president David McCall issued a statement hours after the acquisition announcement, expressing disappointment over the deal he says “demonstrates the same greedy, shortsighted attitude that has guided U.S. Steel for far too long.”

McCall says USW pushed to keep U.S. Steel domestically owned and operated and claims the union was never contacted by either company regarding the deal. He calls for regulators to “carefully scrutinize” the acquisition.

His full statement reads:

“To say we’re disappointed in the announced deal between U.S. Steel and Nippon is an understatement, as it demonstrates the same greedy, shortsighted attitude that has guided U.S. Steel for far too long.

“We remained open throughout this process to working with U.S. Steel to keep this iconic American company domestically owned and operated, but instead it chose to push aside the concerns of its dedicated workforce and sell to a foreign-owned company.

“Neither U.S. Steel nor Nippon reached out to our union regarding the deal, which is in itself a violation of our partnership agreement that requires U.S. Steel to notify us of a change in control or business conditions.

“Based on this alone, the USW does not believe that Nippon understands the full breadth of the obligations of all our agreements, and we do not know whether it has the capacity to live up to our existing contract. This includes not just the day-to-day commitments of our labor agreement, but also significant obligations to fund pension and retiree insurance benefits that are the most extensive in the domestic steel industry.

“Our union intends to exercise the full measure of our agreements to ensure that whatever happens next with U.S. Steel, we protect the good, family-sustaining jobs we bargained. We also will strongly urge government regulators to carefully scrutinize this acquisition and determine if the proposed transaction serves the national security interests of the United States and benefits workers.

“No union has actively engaged in more acquisitions in its core industries than the USW, and rest assured, our union will hold management at U.S. Steel accountable to every letter of our collective bargaining and other existing agreements.”

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