Shares in Glencore have dropped in value after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated an investigation into the firm.
The Switzerland-headquartered miner and commodity trader confirmed in a brief statement that it had received its subsidiary Glencore Ltd had received a subpoena dated 2 July 2018 from the DOJ to “produce documents and other records with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United States money laundering statutes”.
The company added: “The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to present.”
The company’s shares plunged by as much as 13% before recovering some of the losses, wiping up to US$8.7B off Glencore’s market value.
The year has already been a troubling one for Glencore, particularly in relation to its business in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Last month, Glencore unveiled a sweeping US$5.6B restructuring of Katanga Mining Ltd (KML), its embattled copper company in the DRC.
The Swiss firm is also facing the possibility of a bribery probe by UK prosecutors over its work with Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, a close friend of Congolese President Joseph Kabila, Bloomberg reported in May.
A DOJ subpoena against a multinational company is a serious matter, given the aggressive antitrust credentials the department has demonstrated over the years.
“Glencore is reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate,” concluded the brief statement.