March 6 Activist investor Casablanca Capital LP
said on Thursday it sent a letter to Cliffs Natural Resources
Inc nominating six directors for election to the
company's board at its annual meeting in May, setting in motion
a proxy battle for the iron ore producer.
The director slate includes Casablanca Chief Executive
Officer Douglas Taylor as well as Lourenco Goncalves, former CEO
of Metals USA. The New York-based fund last month named
Goncalves as its preferred candidate for Cliffs' CEO.
Casablanca, which owns about 5.2 percent of Cliffs, says the
company's expansion strategy has failed and that it has lost 80
percent of its market value while overseen by a majority of the
current 11-member board.
The annual meeting is scheduled for May 13.
Other directors on the slate are: Rip Fisher, a former head
of mining and Canadian corporate finance and investment banking
at Goldman Sachs; Patrice Merrin, a director of Stillwater
Mining; Joseph Rutkowski, former vice president of business
development at Nucor Corp, and Gabriel Stoliar, managing partner
of Studio Investimentos, an asset management firm.