July 17 Casablanca Capital LP said two independent proxy firms have recommended that shareholders of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc vote in favor of the hedge fund's board nominees.
Cliffs is locked in a proxy battle with New York-based hedge fund Casablanca, which owns 5.2 percent of Cliffs stock and accuses the company of destroying shareholder value.
Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co have issued strong recommendations in support of its campaign for the board changes, Casablanca said in a statement.
Casablanca wants to replace Cliffs' CEO with its own nominee and a majority of board members with its candidates.
The iron ore and metallurgical coal producer offered Casablanca a third of the seats on its board in July in an attempt to settle a "costly and distracting" proxy contest.
The Cleveland-based company's annual meeting is set for July 29. (Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)