Cliffs CEO says its US steel bid is ‘absolutely gone’

(Bloomberg) — The embattled CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., who criticized United States Steel Corp.’s decision. to sell itself to a Japanese steelmaker, said his company’s offer is off the table.

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Lourenco Goncalves said his $54 per share cash and stock offer for US Steel is gone and will not be a backup to Nippon Steel Corp.’s $55 per share offer. that was accepted by the iconic American steel producer falls through.

“That transaction is no longer available, it is no longer a safety net for their failure,” he said in an interview Thursday. “If they can’t close – I don’t know where they are at this point – that offer is gone, that offer no longer exists.”

US Steel shares fell as much as 2.2% after the comments. Shares of Cliffs rose 1.4% at 3:50 p.m. in New York.

The comments come two days after Goncalves called US Steel’s deal with Nippon a serious miscalculation and accused the Pittsburgh-based company’s board of directors of planning to “break the back” of the United Steelworkers union. The union repeatedly expressed exclusive support for a Cliffs bid during the auction. USW President Dave McCall said in a website post Monday that Nippon failed to provide necessary information to the union.

Goncalves did say that Cliffs is always looking for mergers and acquisitions, although nothing is imminent. He would not say whether he would make another bid for US Steel if the Nippon deal fell through, reiterating his stance.

“The great thing about dealing with me is that I don’t speak in code,” Goncalves said. “I’m a very blunt boy. That offer is absolutely gone. That appointment is over. It is over.”

Read more: Cliffs CEO Lashes…

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