January 28, 2014 / 11:21 AM / in 4 years

Hedge fund urges Cliffs to spin off assets, double dividend

Jan 28 (Reuters) - New York-based hedge fund Casablanca Capital LP picked up a 5.2 percent stake in Cliffs Natural Resources Inc and urged the iron ore producer to spin off of international assets and double its annual dividend.

Cliffs slashed its 2013 dividend to 60 cents per share in 2013 from over $2 in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Casablanca also said Cliffs should convert its U.S. assets to a master limited partnership (MLP) and “significantly” cut costs.

An MLP derives most of its cash flows from real estate, natural resources and commodities.

Cliffs shares have nearly halved in value in the past year, compared with a 19 percent rise in the S&P 500 index.

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