Judge to hear U.S. Steel $2B claim ahead of other creditors

A judge in the restructuring case of U.S. Steel's Canadian operations released his decision on a bid by the American corporation to have its claim for $2.2 billion heard first.
Signage near U.S. Steel Canada's Hamilton Works. (John Rieti/CBC)

A judge ruled Wednesday he will hear the matter of the American U.S. Steel company's claims that it's owed $2.2 billion before the rest of the restructuring process for U.S. Steel Canada.

The judge concluded the outcome of the hearings on how much the American company is owed will have bearing on the rest of the U.S. Steel Canada restructuring process.

Justice H.J. Wilton-Siegel said that claims trial should be scheduled "as soon as reasonably possible" but said that will not likely be before the end of January 2016.

U.S. Steel Canada argued the uncertainty of how much is owed to U.S. Steel would impact or deter possible offers from companies looking to buy the Canadian operations. 

The judge rejected arguments from pensioners and the province that hearing the claim first would result in lower bids or potentially "scuttle" the sale process entirely. 

Also Wednesday, U.S. Steel Canada filed court documents requesting more time to organize a new sale process in January. The time period had previously been set to end on Dec. 10. 

In October, Wilton-Siegel approved a transition plan that allowed the company to suspend health-care benefits for tens of thousands of retirees as it moved to becoming a stand-alone entity.

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