Brazil anti-trust watchdog denies CSN bid for Usiminas board spot
BRASILIA, March 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's anti-trust watchdog Cade said on Wednesday it had rejected a request by steelmaker CSN to be represented on the board of rival Usiminas before an April 6 vote to elect a new chairman.
"There has been no change in the competitive scenario which justifies it," Cade President Vinicius de Carvalho told reporters in Brasilia.
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional S.A., as CSN is formally known, has long sought to gain influence within Usiminas, building up a stake since 2011. CSN owns 20 percent of preferred shares and 11.7 percent of common shares, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The steelmaker has re-doubled efforts to gain a boardroom presence proportional to its shareholding since a battle erupted between controlling shareholders Ternium and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp over the sacking of a former chief executive.
The spat has put into question the pact under which Ternium and Nippon run the company and created a power vacuum.
Last April, Cade ordered CSN to reduce its stake in Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais S.A., as Usiminas is formally known, but the extent of the reduction and the timeframe were not divulged.
Usiminas will hold a vote to elect a new board at an annual meeting on April 6.
(Reporting by Leonardo Goy, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Alan Crosby)
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