United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) (“U. S. Steel”) today announced the closing of $290 million unsecured Arkansas Development Finance Authority environmental improvement revenue bonds, which carry a green bond designation (the “Green Bonds”). Proceeds of the bonds will be used for “eligible Green Projects” within the meaning of the Green Bond Principles of The International Capital Market Association.
Separately, the Company successfully repurchased approximately $300 million of outstanding debt at a discount to par through a tender offer process completed last week. Together, these actions result in the following improvements:
- Extended maturity profile: Weighted average duration of all outstanding debt extended by two years. Weighted average debt maturity is now approximately 14 years. Continue to have no significant debt maturities through the strategic Best for All® investment horizon.
- Reduced cash interest expense: Annual cash interest savings of approximately $5 million.
- Maintained leverage metric: Leverage neutral while strengthening our financial position.
“Friday’s closing on the Green Bonds reinforces our commitment to achieving our 2030 greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction and 2050 net-zero goals,” commented U. S. Steel President and Chief Executive Officer David B. Burritt. “We are also continuing to strengthen our balance sheet, in-line with our capital allocation priorities, by replacing more expensive, nearer-term debt with less expensive, longer-dated debt, all while reducing our interest expense and extending our maturity profile.”
The Green Bonds, issued through Arkansas Development Finance Authority, have a coupon rate of 5.45% and carry a final maturity of 2052. Under the agreement with the Arkansas bond issuer, U. S. Steel will pay semiannual interest.
The Company will use the proceeds from the Green Bonds to partially fund work related to its solid waste disposal facilities, including two electric arc furnaces (EAF) and other equipment and facilities at its new technologically advanced flat rolled steelmaking facility, Big River 2 (BR2), currently under construction near Osceola, Arkansas. The facility will recycle, refine, and process scrap steel into finished steel products.
Construction of BR2 is expected to be completed in 2024, and once complete will be the most advanced steelmaking facility in North America, featuring two EAFs, with a total three million tons per year of advanced steelmaking capability, a state-of-the-art endless casting and rolling line and advanced finishing capabilities. BR2 is expected to operate with up to 70-80% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to the traditional integrated steelmaking approach and directly support the Company’s sustainability commitments.
BofA Securities, Barclays, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Securities, and Crews & Associates, Inc. acted as underwriters for the Green Bonds.
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This release contains information that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend the forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements in those sections. Generally, we have identified such forward-looking statements by using the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “forecast,” “aim,” “should,” “plan,” “goal,” “future,” “will,” "may" and similar expressions or by using future dates in connection with any discussion of, among other things, the construction or operation of new or existing facilities, operating performance, trends, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, statements relating to volume changes, share of sales and earnings per share changes, anticipated cost savings, potential capital and operational cash improvements, changes in global supply and demand conditions and prices for our products, international trade duties and other aspects of international trade policy, statements regarding our future strategies, products and innovations, statements regarding our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and statements expressing general views about future operating results. However, the absence of these words or similar expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only the Company's beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company's control. It is possible that the Company's actual results and financial condition may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in these forward-looking statements. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the time made. However, caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made. Our Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our Company's historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties described in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 and those described from time to time in our future reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
References to "we," "us," "our," the "Company" and "U. S. Steel" refer to United States Steel Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise indicated by the context.
Founded in 1901, United States Steel Corporation is a leading steel producer. With an unwavering focus on safety, the company’s customer-centric Best for All® strategy is advancing a more secure, sustainable future for U. S. Steel and its stakeholders. With a renewed emphasis on innovation, U. S. Steel serves the automotive, construction, appliance, energy, containers, and packaging industries with high value-added steel products such as U. S. Steel’s proprietary XG3™ advanced high-strength steel. The company also maintains competitively advantaged iron ore production and has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 22.4 million net tons. U. S. Steel is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with world-class operations across the United States and in Central Europe. For more information, please visit www.ussteel.com.