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Kaiser Steel Resources considers dropping 'Steel' from name

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Kaiser Steel Resources Inc. said Thursday it will seek permission from its shareholders to remove the word 'Steel' from its name to better reflect its identity.

The company, which was created out of the 1987 bankruptcy of Kaiser Steel, said its board of directors unanimously recommended in its proxy statement to shareholders that the company change its name to Kaiser Resources Inc.Shareholders will decide the issue at the company's annual meeting on June 14.

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Kaiser Steel's complex at Fontana, Calif., was once the largest U.S. steel-making operation west of the Mississippi River but was closed down in 1983. It filed for bankruptcy four years later following two leveraged buyouts and several management changes.

Since it closed down, the site has been seen in several movies depicting future blight, including 'The Running Man,' 'Robocop' and 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day.'

After the Kaiser mill stopped operating, the steel finishing and rolling mills were sold to California Steel Industries, which has decided to dismantle and reassemble part of those facilities in China.

Kaiser Steel Resources owns the rest of the 1,175-acre site, which includes the coke ovens and blast furnaces, along with water rights and a former iron mine in the Mojave Desert that it is seeking to turn into a rail-haul landfill.

The company has been fairly profitable and its financial position has been enhanced by $105 million in operating loss carryforwards from the bankruptcy reorganization, which can be used to reduce federal income taxes.

It has also generated revenues from the site from short-term rentals, operation of water and waste treatment at the plant, sale of slag and other iron-bearing materials and lease of a portion of the site as a minimum-security prison operation.

The company also announced in late March it had agreed to build a motor-sports racing complex at the mill site with a partnership involving racing promoter Cary Agajanian, cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels and Roger Werner Jr., the head of cable programmer Prime Ticket.

Daniel N. Larson, president of Kaiser Steel Resources, said Thursday that management recommended the name change to more accurately reflect its business operations and direction.

'Kaiser is no longer in the steel business, so using steel in our name can cause confusion among investors and others in the business community,' Larson said. 'The proposed name change is part of Kaiser's continuing evolution as an environmental resources company.'

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