U.S. Steel Shareholders Approve $14.9 Billion Nippon Steel Sale Amid Biden’s Pushback

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United States Steel announced Friday its shareholders approved the $14.1 billion sale of the company to Japan-based Nippon Steel, which has received pushback from regulators and President Joe Biden, who has opposed the deal and said the U.S. needs to maintain domestic steel companies “powered by American steel workers.”

U.S. Steel shareholders approved the sale and are expected to receive $55 in cash for each company share they own, the Wall Street Journal reported, noting the approval of the deal was widely expected.

Investors representing about 71% of the steelmaker’s shares voted on the deal, according to a statement, with 98% of the shares supporting the sale.

Biden said last month it is “vital” for U.S. Steel to remain an American company that is domestically owned and operated.

Biden’s opposition to the merger is fueled by his support for the United Steelworkers union, which has expressed concerns of job losses from the deal even as Nippon Steel has pledged no job cuts will result from the deal’s close.

U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel are expected to announce the merger will close in the second half of this year, according to Bloomberg, though it also faces scrutiny from the Department of Justice and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

U.S. Steel announced its sale to Nippon in December as an all-cash transaction at $55 per share in a deal valued at $14.1 billion. The sale received scrutiny not long after it was announced, as the United Steelworkers union expressed doubt that Nippon Steel would maintain U.S. Steel’s contract with the union, the Journal reported, adding the union has dismissed Nippon’s pledges to not cut jobs and close plants. Biden has opposed the deal in solidarity with the union, though he has yet to block it in any official capacity. However, the Justice Department started an antitrust investigation into the deal recently, according to Politico, though details about the probe are sparse. Sen. Sharrod Brown, D-Ohio, who heads the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, requested this month that the White House investigate the relationship between Nippon and the Chinese steel industry, citing national security concerns, Reuters reported.

DOJ opens formal investigation of US Steel takeover (Politico)

US Steel and Nippon Steel Mull Pushing Back Date to Seal Deal (Bloomberg)

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