USX Corp. splits steel from oil activities

USX Corp., the US steel and energy group, will split into two publicly traded companies, US Steel and Marathon Oil. After a six-month review of its corporate capital structure, the company intends to spin off its US Steel unit and related businesses at the end of the year. The plan does not foresee a cash pay-out to shareholders. Analysts cheered the long-awaited split. The scheme revived hopes of consolidation in the steel industry, sending US Steel shares 19% higher and rival shares such as Bethlehem Steel 25% higher. It is also setting the stage for Marathon to participate in energy consolidation. The move finally severs the largest US steel maker from the Marathon oil and energy business. It also ends USX’s 10-year tracking stock structure, which tried to isolate the two disparate industries.