History of U. S. Steel
When founded in 1901, United States Steel Corporation was the largest business enterprise ever launched, with an authorized capitalization of $1.4 billion. Throughout the years, U. S. Steel responded to changing economic conditions and new market opportunities through diversification and periodic restructuring. Today, over a century after its founding, U. S. Steel remains the largest integrated steel producer headquartered in the United States.
U. S. Steel had its origins in the dealings of some of America's most legendary businessmen, including Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Charles Schwab. However, its principal architect was Elbert H. Gary, who also became U. S. Steel's first chairman. At the turn of the century, a group headed by Gary and Morgan bought Carnegie's steel company and combined it with their holdings in the Federal Steel Company. These two companies became the nucleus of U. S. Steel, which also included American Steel & Wire Co., National Tube Company, American Tin Plate Co., American Steel Hoop Co., and American Sheet Steel Co. In its first full year of operation, U. S. Steel made 67 percent of all the steel produced in the United States.
In the decades that followed, the corporation consolidated its various steelmaking and raw material subsidiaries and divisions through a series of reorganizations. Many of the corporation's divisions were related to or grew out of the company's original steel operations. Significant diversification and restructuring actions occurred in the 1980s, particularly in 1982, when the corporation became involved in the energy industry with its acquisition of Marathon Oil Company. In early 1986, the corporation expanded its energy business when it acquired Texas Oil & Gas Corp.
In late 1986, recognizing the fact that it had become a vastly different corporation, United States Steel Corporation changed its name to USX Corporation, with principal operating units involved in energy, steel and diversified businesses.
The 1980s also brought significant changes to the corporation's steel operations. In response to economic changes in the steel industry, the corporation reduced its domestic raw steel production capability through a number of restructurings. In addition, the corporation entered into several steel joint ventures with both domestic and foreign partners.
At the same time, many of the units among the corporation's diversified businesses were sold or combined into joint venture enterprises. These included chemicals and agri-chemicals businesses, an oil field supply business, domestic transportation subsidiaries and raw materials properties worldwide.
Turning to the financial structure of the corporation, in 1991, shareholders approved a proposal to change the capitalization of the corporation. A new class of common stock was issued, USX-U. S. Steel Group Common Stock (NYSE: X), to reflect the performance of the corporation's steel and diversified businesses. USX Corporation common stock was changed into USX-Marathon Group Common Stock (NYSE: MRO) to reflect the energy side of the business.
In October 2001, USX Corporation shareholders voted to adopt a plan of reorganization. The plan resulted in the tax-free spin-off of the steel and steel-related businesses of USX into a freestanding, publicly traded company known as United States Steel Corporation – the name of the corporation when it was established a century earlier. The remaining energy businesses of USX became Marathon Oil Corporation.
The two new companies officially began operating independently on January 1, 2002.
When the separation was finalized, U. S. Steel adopted a new Vision for its future – Making Steel. World Competitive. Building Value – that would help the company and its employees focus on areas that would be key to their success in the years ahead.
But prior to its spin-off from USX, U. S. Steel recognized the need to diversify its geographic footprint, and on Nov. 24, 2000, U. S. Steel completed the purchase of the Slovak steelmaking operations and related assets of VSZ a.s. The operations were renamed U. S. Steel Košice after the eastern Slovak town in which the facilities were located. In March 2001, U. S. Steel closed on its acquisition of LTV Steel’s East Chicago, Ind., tin mill products finishing facility.
During this time, many U.S. steelmakers filed for bankruptcy protection, and their assets were purchased by other companies and investors who saw value in consolidating the domestic steel industry. U. S. Steel was active in this process, completing the purchase of certain steelmaking assets from bankruptcy-protected National Steel Corporation in May 2003. Later that year, U. S. Steel continued its expansion into Central Europe by purchasing bankrupt Serbian steelmaker Sartid a.d. and several of its subsidiaries and renaming the operations U. S. Steel Serbia. In January 2012, U. S. Steel Serbia was sold to the Republic of Serbia due to the significant cost and commercial challenges faced by the operation.
In 2007, U. S. Steel made two more value-building acquisitions. The first was the purchase of Dallas, Texas-based welded tubular products maker Lone Star Technologies, Inc. and its related companies in June. The deal made U. S. Steel the largest tubular goods producer in North America, with total annual capability of 2.8 million net tons.
In October 2007, U. S. Steel increased its flat-rolled products capacity by acquiring Canada’s Stelco Inc., which it renamed U. S. Steel Canada.
Today, U. S. Steel remains proud of its past, but is focused on its future. As a leader in the increasingly competitive global steel industry, United States Steel Corporation is dedicated to delivering high-quality products to our customers and building value for all of our stakeholders.