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Glencore investors to sue for billions over probes, Boies says

Probes have raised questions about how commodities trading is conducted around the world.
Share price falls following latest probe into the commodities trader. Image: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

Institutional investors in Glencore will sue the world’s biggest commodities trader for share price declines from bribery investigations in the US, the UK and Canada, a law firm representing them said after the latest probe was announced.

Boies Schiller Flexner said the suit is “expected to run into the billions,” after Glencore disclosed on Thursday that the UK’s Serious Fraud Office was investigating it, prompting a 9% drop in its share price. The investigation comes on the back of overlapping inquiries in the US and Canada that have helped drive Glencore’s stock down in the past 18 months.

“Whilst we have been working on the claim for a number of months now, and have secured litigation funding as well as provision for adverse costs, today’s announcement that the SFO is opening an enquiry into bribery at Glencore can only serve to strengthen the claims of institutional investors,” Natasha Harrison, Boies Schiller’s managing partner in London, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Glencore declined to comment.

The probes have raised questions about how commodities trading is conducted around the world, notably in Brazil, where Glencore is under investigation in connection with the country’s massive “carwash” scandal.

The suit Boeis announced is the latest in a string of bad news for Glencore that has clouded the final stretch of chief executive officer Ivan Glasenberg’s tenure. Glasenberg has said he is planning to step down soon. Dealing with the investigations has become a major part of his role.

Read:

Glencore’s Glasenberg says successor could be in place next year

Glencore under investigation for bribery by UK authorities

© 2019 Bloomberg

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Interesting law – the shareholders of Glencore are in effect suing themselves.

One would have had to be grossly incompetent to have invested into Glencore not being aware of the reputation of Glencore and Glasenberg for various crimes ranging from bribery to material support to terrorists and tyrants. This share is still below half its IPO price.

End of comments.

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