Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) today announced that it has received from the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission notice of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 for its proposed acquisition of substantially all of ArcelorMittal USA LLC and its subsidiaries ("ArcelorMittal USA"). This clearance represents the most significant milestone toward the completion of this transaction, and re-affirms the anticipated closing of the deal in December 2020.
Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased that the federal antitrust authorities have cleared our transaction ahead of schedule. With that, we have a clear path toward closing this transaction next month, as planned. We look forward to realizing the benefits of operating these assets under Cleveland-Cliffs, and are excited with the significant optimization potential that will come from the integration with our current footprint. As we will soon become the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, we pledge to take great care of our expanded workforce and to support manufacturing in our country, through the safe and environmentally friendly production of steel. More than ever, we are ready for a great future for Cleveland-Cliffs and our people."
The completion of the transaction remains subject to other customary closing approvals and conditions, all of which the company expects to settle before the completion of the transaction.
About Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
Founded in 1847, Cleveland-Cliffs is among the largest vertically integrated producers of differentiated iron ore and steel in North America. With an emphasis on non-commoditized products, the Company is uniquely positioned to supply both customized iron ore pellets and steel solutions to a quality-focused customer base. AK Steel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cleveland-Cliffs, is a leading producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products. The AK Tube and Precision Partners businesses provide customer solutions with carbon and stainless steel tubing products, die design and tooling, and hot- and cold-stamped components. In 2020, Cliffs also expects to be the sole producer of hot briquetted iron (HBI) in the Great Lakes region. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland-Cliffs employs approximately 11,000 people across mining and steel manufacturing operations in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.clevelandcliffs.com or www.aksteel.com.
This release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. As a general matter, forward-looking statements relate to anticipated trends and expectations rather than historical matters. Forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and factors relating to our operations and business environment that are difficult to predict and may be beyond our control. Such uncertainties and factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no ongoing obligation, other than that imposed by law, to update these statements. Uncertainties and risk factors that could affect our future performance and cause results to differ from the forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to: severe financial hardship, bankruptcy, temporary or permanent shutdowns or operational challenges, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, of one or more of our major customers, including customers in the automotive market, key suppliers or contractors, which, among other adverse effects, could lead to reduced demand for our products, increased difficulty collecting receivables, and customers and/or suppliers asserting force majeure or other reasons for not performing their contractual obligations to us; uncertainty and weaknesses in global economic conditions, including downward pressure on prices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, oversupply of imported products, reduced market demand and risks related to U.S. government actions with respect to Section 232, the USMCA and/or other trade agreements, treaties or policies; uncertainties associated with the highly competitive and highly cyclical steel industry and reliance on the demand for steel from the automotive industry; continued volatility of steel and iron ore prices and other trends, which may impact the price-adjustment calculations under certain of our sales contracts; our ability to cost-effectively achieve planned production rates or levels, including at our HBI production plant; our ability to successfully identify and consummate any strategic investments or development projects, including our HBI production plant; the impact of our steelmaking customers reducing their steel production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or increased market share of steel produced using methods other than those used by our customers, or increased market share of lighter-weight steel alternatives, including aluminum; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity, our level of indebtedness and the availability of capital could limit cash flow available to fund working capital, planned capital expenditures, acquisitions, and other general corporate purposes or ongoing needs of our business; our actual economic iron ore reserves or reductions in current mineral estimates, including whether any mineralized material qualifies as a reserve; our ability to successfully diversify our product mix and add new customers; the outcome of any contractual disputes with our customers, joint venture partners or significant energy, material or service providers or any other litigation or arbitration; problems or uncertainties with sales volume or mix, productivity, transportation, environmental liabilities, employee-benefit costs and other risks of the steel and mining industries; impacts of existing and increasing governmental regulation and related costs and liabilities, including failure to receive or maintain required operating and environmental permits, approvals, modifications or other authorization of, or from, any governmental or regulatory entity and costs related to implementing improvements to ensure compliance with regulatory changes; our ability to maintain appropriate relations with unions and employees; the ability of our customers, joint venture partners and third-party service providers to meet their obligations to us on a timely basis or at all; events or circumstances that could impair or adversely impact the viability of a production plant or mine and the carrying value of associated assets, as well as any resulting impairment charges; uncertainties associated with natural disasters, weather conditions, unanticipated geological conditions, supply or price of energy, equipment failures, infectious disease outbreaks and other unexpected events; adverse changes in interest rates, foreign currency rates and tax laws; the potential existence of significant deficiencies or material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting; our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the merger with AK Steel and to successfully integrate the businesses of AK Steel into our existing businesses, including uncertainties associated with maintaining relationships with customers, vendors and employees, as well as realizing additional future synergies; additional debt we assumed or issued in connection with the merger with AK Steel, as well as additional debt we incurred in connection with enhancing our liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic, may negatively impact our credit profile and limit our financial flexibility; changes in the cost of raw materials and supplies; supply chain disruptions or poor quality of raw materials or supplies, including scrap, coal, coke and alloys; disruptions in, or failures of, our information technology systems, including those related to cybersecurity; unanticipated costs associated with healthcare, pension and OPEB obligations; the completion of the acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA (the "Transaction") on the anticipated terms and timing or at all, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and anticipated tax treatment; our ability to integrate ArcelorMittal USA's businesses and our existing businesses successfully and to achieve anticipated synergies from the Transaction; business and management strategies for the maintenance, expansion and growth of the combined company's operations following the consummation of the Transaction; potential litigation relating to the Transaction that could be instituted against us or our officers and directors; disruptions from the proposed Transaction that have the potential to harm our or ArcelorMittal USA's businesses, including current plans and operations; our ability to retain and hire key personnel, including within the ArcelorMittal USA businesses following the completion of the Transaction; potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships resulting from the announcement or completion of the Transaction; and additional debt we incur, or other proposed financing transactions we may enter into, in connection with the Transaction may negatively impact our credit profile and limit our financial flexibility.
For additional factors affecting the business of Cliffs, refer to "Risk Factors" in Cliffs’ Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020.
You are urged to carefully consider these risk factors.
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Director, Corporate Communications
Director, Investor Relations