(Adds Casablanca plans, more details from Cliffs statement)
June 10 Cliffs Natural Resources Inc
said on Tuesday it expects at least two nominees proposed by
activist investor Casablanca Capital will be appointed to the
mining company's board at its annual meeting set for July 29.
Cliffs said that based on discussions with various
shareholders, its board believes it is in shareholders best
interests for a slate of nine directors to be nominated for its
"As a result ... we believe that at least two of
Casablanca's proposed nominees will be elected to the Cliffs
board, assuming that Casablanca continues its proxy contest,"
Cliffs said in a press release released along with its proxy
statement. It does not endorse the election of any of
Casablanca's nominees, Cliffs said.
Casablanca, a New York-based hedge fund, declined to
A source familiar with the hedge fund's thinking said
Casablanca would continue its proxy contest against Cliffs and
would release its own proxy statement soon.
Casablanca launched a proxy contest in March for Cliffs, a
Cleveland-based iron ore and coal producer whose share price
fell by nearly a third last year. Casablanca, which owns around
5.2 percent of Cliffs, wants to replace the company's chief
executive and a majority of its board, and split off its
international operations from its Great Lakes-based operations.
Cliffs' nine director nominees are: Chief Executive Officer
Gary Halverson, and directors Barry Eldridge, Mark Gaumond,
Susan Green, Janice Henry, Stephen Johnson, James Kirsch,
Richard Riederer and Timothy Sullivan. The company said it did
not currently intend to nominate incumbent directors Susan
Cunningham and Andres Gluski for re-election.
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David
Gregorio, Bernard Orr and Tom Brown)