Glencore Shares Drop After Justice Department Subpoena

Glencore Shares Drop After Justice Department Subpoena

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But the company has taken criticism for its former relationship with Dan Gertler, an Israeli businessman who runs mining businesses in Congo and who has close ties to Joseph Kabila, the country’s president.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Mr. Gertler in December, raising questions about the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to companies with ties to the billionaire. Such arrangements led to a reported $1.36 billion loss in revenues to the Congolese government, according to a news release announcing the sanctions. Mr. Gertler has denied wrongdoing.

Under the terms of those sanctions, the Israeli businessman was essentially locked out of the American financial system — and those doing business with him faced potential penalties as well.

Glencore cut off ties to Mr. Gertler shortly afterward, leading to a legal fight between the company and its former business partner over unpaid royalties from interests in two Congolese mines. Glencore and Mr. Gertler settled that fight last month, with the company agreeing to make royalty payments in euros, rather than dollars, through a non-American financial institution to avoid violating the Treasury Department sanctions.

That settlement was aimed in large part at helping Glencore avoid the seizure of mining assets in Congo, after Mr. Gertler won a favorable court ruling in that country.

The relationship with Mr. Gertler is under scrutiny in Britain as well, where prosecutors are investigating whether the company ran afoul of antibribery laws.

Glencore traces its origins to the operations of the trader Marc Rich, who was indicted on tax evasion charges in the United States and was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton. Since 2002, the company has been led by Ivan Glasenberg, who began his career there as a coal marketer and whose competitive trader instincts have shaped its corporate culture.

The company has had other tough moments since its initial public offering in 2011.

Its stock price fell sharply in 2015 when commodity prices plunged, prompting investors to worry about whether the company could meet its debt obligations. The share price had partly recovered when commodity prices rose, and after the company sold off assets and issued new shares to pay down its debt.

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