Nippon Steel delays closing of acquisition of US Steel until late this year after US DOJ request

TOKYO — Nippon Steel said Friday it has postponed the expected closing of its $14.1 billion acquisition of US Steel by three months after the U.S. Department of Justice requested more documentation related to the deal.

Tokyo-based Nippon Steel Corp. said the deal, which has already been approved by US Steel shareholders, is still expected to go through.

“Nippon Steel will continue to fully cooperate with the relevant authorities’ investigations,” the company said in a statement.

The sale has drawn opposition on economic and national security grounds from President Joe Biden’s administration, as well as from former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in the November election.

The new timing could push the shutdown until after the election, but Nippon Steel denied the delay was related.

Initially, the deal was expected to be completed in September. Now it will close in December, which means it could close as early as September, according to a company spokesperson, who requested anonymity usual for Japanese companies.

More than 98% of US Steel Corp.’s Pittsburgh-based shares. voted in favor of the acquisition during a special investor meeting in April. Nippon Steel has said it has prepared sufficient financing for the deal to proceed.

The merger of US Steel into Nippon Steel, first announced last December, has raised concerns about what it could mean for unionized workers, supply chains and US national security.

The United Steelworkers union has opposed the takeover.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Biden last month. But there was no indication that the topic was discussed during the summit.

When Biden recently visited the United Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh, he reiterated his opposition to the purchase of Nippon Steel, emphasizing that US Steel “has been an iconic American company for more than a century and it must remain fully American.”

The U.S. steel industry has declined in recent decades as global steel production was dominated initially by Japan and more recently by China. Under the deal, US Steel will keep its name and headquarters in Pittsburgh, where it was founded in 1901.


Yuri Kageyama is on X: