Bids for U.S. Steel are due on Friday, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Friday is also allegedly when a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker expires.
That raises the possibility of significant public developments regarding the sale of all or parts of the iconic steelmaker over the next week, industry sources said.
That contrasts with the relative secrecy that has characterized the sales process since it was first publicly disclosed in August.
Cleveland-based Cliffs at the time said it intended to acquire all of U.S. steel in a deal it said was valued at approximately $10 billion.
U.S. Steel has said that “numerous” companies have come forth as potential buyers. It has not named them.
It was not clear on Thursday afternoon whether some of those bidders are interested in the entire company or only certain assets. And while some sources said all of U.S. Steel might be sold, others said that it might sell off certain assets and continue onward as a more streamlined company.
Note that U.S. Steel’s operations include not only integrated mills in the Midwest – Mon Valley Works near Pittsburgh, Gary Works near Chicago, and Granite City Works near St. Louis – but also EAF sheet mill Big River Steel in northwest Arkansas. Its operations in addition include iron ore mines and pellet plants in Minnesota, energy tubular mills, and a large steel mill in Slovakia. Furthermore, the company operates joint ventures in everything from coating lines to oilfield services.
SMU has previously outlined potential bidders and scenarios for an acquisition.
U.S. Steel declined to comment for this article. Cliffs wasn’t reached for comment.
Michael CowdenRead more from Michael Cowden
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