By Scott Patterson
Glencore PLC Chairman Tony Hayward is heading a new board committee to oversee the Anglo-Swiss mining giant's response to a subpoena by the U.S. Department of Justice, the company said Wednesday.
On July 3, Glencore said it had received a subpoena from the Justice Department relating to its compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money-laundering statutes. The company said it was asked to produce documents concerning Glencore's business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to the present.
As well as Mr. Hayward, who was formerly chief executive of BP PLC, the committee will comprise of Leonhard Fischer and Patrice Merrin, who are both independent nonexecutive directors at Glencore.
Mr. Hayward said the company would be cooperating with U.S. authorities and that Glencore "takes ethics and compliance seriously throughout the group."
Glencore shares were down nearly 5% in London morning trade. Stocks across the globe fell early Wednesday, with commodity shares among the worst performers.
Mr. Hayward, who was appointed nonexecutive chairman of Glencore in May 2013, has had some previous experience with the Justice Department. He oversaw BP when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. waters and killing 11 crew members. Following the disaster, the Justice Department launched an investigation into whether BP violated U.S. civil or criminal laws.
Mr. Hayward left BP just months after the disaster. In 2015, the Obama administration reached a $20.8 billion settlement with BP over the spill, the biggest pollution penalty in U.S. history.
Glencore also faces an investigation into its activities in Congo by the Ontario Securities Commission. The OSC, Canada's largest securities regulator, is probing payments a Glencore subsidiary made to a company controlled by its longtime partner in Congo, Israeli diamond tycoon Dan Gertler, the Journal reported.
Glencore disclosed an OSC investigation into its Congo operations in November and said several board members of one of its copper-mining subsidiaries, Katanga Mining, were stepping down following an internal probe that found "material weaknesses" in its controls over financial reporting.
The Journal reported last week that the Justice Department is focusing on, among other things, Glencore's business ties to Mr. Gertler in Congo.
Write to Scott Patterson at email@example.com