Nippon Steel executive to visit U.S. to meet stakeholders of U.S. Steel deal

By Urvi Dugar, Akanksha Khushi and Yuka Obayashi

, TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s Nippon Steel said on Saturday its vice chairman, Takahiro Mori, a key negotiator for its planned purchase of U.S. Steel, will travel to the United States next week to meet stakeholders as part of continued efforts to complete the deal.

A spokesperson for Nippon Steel in Tokyo said Mori will visit the United States to continue dialogues with various stakeholders of the deal to gain a better understanding. She declined to give further details such as who Mori will be meeting with and how long he will stay in the U.S.

U.S. Steel deferred to the Japanese counterpart for comment.

In December, Nippon Steel offered nearly $15 billion to take over U.S. Steel, drawing resistance from both Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump, as well as the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

To win support from the USW, Nippon Steel has pledged to move its U.S. headquarters to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where U.S. Steel is based, offering commitments on job security and additional investments if the deal goes through.

Bloomberg reported on Friday in the U.S. that Mori will travel to Pittsburgh next week to meet with local staff and elected officials, citing people briefed on the matter.

The Japanese steelmaker expects to close the deal in the second half of 2024, compared with its prior deadline of the second to third quarter, after the U.S. Department of Justice sought more details and materials in an antitrust review. The European Commission has already approved the deal.

Despite mounting opposition, an overwhelming majority of U.S. Steel shareholders voted in favor of the deal in April.

(Reporting by Urvi Dugar and Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Leslie Adler)