MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A major announcement from Cleveland-Cliffs... they're getting directly into the steel business.
Cliffs announced Tuesday, it's buying an Ohio-based steel maker. Cliffs and AK Steel say they've entered into a definitive merger agreement.
Cliffs says it'll acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of AK Steel common stock. It's a stock deal valued at about $1.1 billion.
Cliffs' President and CEO, Lourenco Goncalves. will lead the expanded organization.
It's unclear what, if anything, this means for the possibility of re-starting the idled Empire Mine in Marquette County.
The Lake Superior Community Partnership says it's researching how the expanded Cliffs organization could impact the economy here.
The companies say they're creating a vertically integrated business.
Cliffs is North America’s largest producer of iron ore pellets. It would get access to AK Steel's flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products operations.
“What it does, is it strengthens the company that is responsible for the Tilden Mine, therefore making sure that we have a good corporate citizen that continues to build their portfolio and strengthen their company to be here for many years to come,” explained Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO, Amy Clickner.
After a brief spike in steel prices, U.S. steel producers have struggled since the Trump administration put steel tariffs into place last year.