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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hedge fund plans proxy fight with Cliffs to install new CEO, (NYSE: CLF)

The activist investor squaring off with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc named its preferred candidate for chief executive officer on Wednesday and said it plans to nominate enough new directors to form a majority of the iron ore miner's board.Hedge fund Casablanca Capital, which owns about 5.2 percent of Cliffs, said it is backing Lourenco Goncalves, former CEO of Metals USA, to take the top job at hard-hit Cliffs.Last month Casablanca publicly urged Cliffs to spin off its international operations and form a master limited partnership from its U.S. assets, but the fund declined to say what its next steps would be if Cliffs refused.Cliffs, a relatively high-cost producer, has been battered by weak iron ore prices. Operational issues and worse-than-expected costs have plagued its Bloom Lake Mine in Quebec, once seen by analysts as a key growth project.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. Shares of CLF traded higher by 3.49% or $0.75/share to $22.25. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $15.41 and as high as $31.20. On average, 8092570 shares of CLF exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 10557936.