Probe Into Glencore Copper Business Nears Settlement--Update

Date : 12/03/2018 @ 4:00PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Katanga Mining Ltd (KAT)
Quote : 0.35  -0.015 (-4.11%) @ 8:29PM
Katanga Mining share price Chart

Probe Into Glencore Copper Business Nears Settlement--Update

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By Scott Patterson and Ben Dummett 

Canada's top stock-market regulator is aiming to settle a long-standing probe with Glencore PLC's Katanga Mining Ltd. by the end of the month, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the Ontario Securities Commission, or OSC, was probing more than $100 million in payments Katanga Mining made to a company owned by Israeli businessman Dan Gertler.

OSC investigators were probing financial statements and disclosures by Toronto-listed Katanga related to possible breaches of bribery and anticorruption laws, Glencore later said.

Glencore in July said it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department, which was demanding records related to its compliance with American antibribery and money-laundering laws in Congo, Nigeria and Venezuela. Glencore didn't provide details and has declined to comment more broadly on the subpoena.

Following the disclosure of the subpoena, the Journal reported that U.S. investigators are focused in part on Glencore's ties with Mr. Gertler, a former co-investor with Glencore in its two Congolese copper operations, including Katanga Mining, citing people familiar with the situation.

Mr. Gertler has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. A representative for Mr. Gertler declined to comment.

Separately, Glencore said Monday its head of copper trading was stepping down. Glencore said Aristotelis Mistakidis, who at one point also ran its copper mining operations in Congo, will leave the Swiss commodity giant at the end of the year.

A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment. Mr. Mistakidis didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Mistakidis for years oversaw mining and trading of copper at Glencore, one of the world's biggest copper producers. He helped set up a pair of giant copper-mining businesses in Congo that have become among the biggest revenue generators for Glencore.

In the process, he became one of Glencore's most senior executives, often seen as No. 2 to the company's chief executive, Ivan Glasenberg. He also became a multibillionaire due to his large holding of Glencore stock.

Mr. Mistakidis had previously stepped down from Katanga Mining's board following an internal review that Glencore said found "material weaknesses" in the company's controls over financial reporting.

Nico Paraskevas, a senior copper trader at Glencore, will replace Mr. Mistakidis.

In December 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Mr. Gertler, alleging he traded on a friendship with Congo President Joseph Kabila to amass a fortune through "opaque and corrupt" deals on behalf of multinational companies seeking to do business in Congo. Mr. Gertler has declined to comment on the Treasury allegations and Justice Department probe.

Write to Scott Patterson at scott.patterson@wsj.com and Ben Dummett at ben.dummett@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 03, 2018 10:45 ET (15:45 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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