Miner Cliffs plans share buyback, may modify debt agreements

Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:25pm EDT

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Aug 25 (Reuters) - Miner Cliffs Natural Resources Inc said on Monday it will try to remove restrictions on its debt agreements so it can buy back up to $200 million worth of shares.

Cliffs said its board has authorized "all the necessary steps to remove the limitations and restrictions present in the company's current debt agreements which preclude Cliffs' ability to execute the buyback program."

The Cleveland-based iron ore and coal producer's board also approved a plan to buy back as much as $200 million in common shares by Dec 31, 2015.

Hedge fund Casablanca Capital triumphed in a proxy battle at Cliffs last month. The fund's nominees took the majority of seats on the board, and nominee Lourenco Goncalves became chairman and chief executive.

"We believe that the stock buyback will be smoothly executed, and should benefit our valuable shareholders," said Goncalves in a statement.

As of June 30, Cliffs had $360 million in cash and equivalents and $3.3 billion in long-term debt.

Cliffs shares were up 0.8 percent at $15.93 on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Allison Martell)

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