Nippon Steel’s Vice Chairman Returns to US for Talks on US Steel Takeover

Nippon Steel’s vice chairman, Takahiro Mori, is set to return to the United States this week for further discussions regarding the proposed acquisition of U.S. Steel. The visit comes amidst increasing regulatory scrutiny and political opposition, including resistance from President Joe Biden and objections from the United Steelworkers union.

Mori’s upcoming trip follows a previous visit from May 20-26, where he engaged with business and political leaders, as well as community figures in Pennsylvania, where U.S. Steel is headquartered. The $14.9 billion merger has received regulatory approvals outside of the United States, signaling progress towards finalizing the deal.

While in the U.S., Mori will explore the possibility of selling certain assets if mandated by U.S. regulators for deal approval. However, he remains optimistic about the deal’s closure without the need for asset sales, citing the success of past acquisitions such as the 2011 takeover of Standard Steel.

Nippon Steel aims to address job security concerns raised by the USW by committing to honor existing agreements and investing $1.4 billion in U.S. Steel facilities. Despite facing challenges in securing a meeting with the USW, Mori is confident in the deal’s success and hopes to garner public support to facilitate discussions.

The USW has expressed skepticism towards Nippon Steel’s proposals, emphasizing the importance of keeping U.S. Steel domestically owned and operated. However, Mori believes that post-U.S. presidential election, the takeover process may proceed more smoothly without political interference.

If finalized by the end of December as planned, the acquisition is expected to significantly boost Nippon Steel’s annual business profit, aligning with the company’s long-term financial objectives. The deal aims to achieve a 1 trillion yen profit by the 2025 financial year, positioning Nippon Steel for future growth and success.