February 17, 2022

Swiss mining and commodities company takes $1.5 billion provision in anticipation of resolving US, UK, and Brazil bribery investigations

On February 15, 2022, Glencore plc, a commodities and mining company based in Switzerland, announced in a news release that in 2022 it expected to resolve multiple investigations by regulatory and enforcement authorities—including the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Brazilian Federal Prosecutor’s Office—into “bribery and market manipulation” at Glencore and its subsidiaries.  Glencore stated that, as of December 31, 2021, it had set aside $1.5 billion, which represented its “best estimate of the costs to resolve these investigations.”

Glencore previously disclosed in 2018 and 2019 that it was being investigated by the DOJ, CFTC, SFO, and Brazilian Federal Prosecutor’s Office, in connection with potentially corrupt practices by the Company and its subsidiaries concerning activities in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela between at least 2007 and 2018.  In 2020, Glencore further disclosed that the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland had also commenced an investigation of the Company in connection with this same conduct.

Glencore’s February 15, 2022 news release made clear that additional, unspecified “other investigations into the” Company were not included in the $1.5 billion provision and that these investigations remained ongoing.

Glencore News Release | Glencore 2019 Annual Report | Glencore News Release (June 19, 2020)