Glencore Buys Out Israeli Billionaire Dan Gertler With $1 Billion Congo Mining Deal

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L-R Ivan-Glasenberg, Dan Gertler

 

Glencore Plc, lead by Ivan Glasenberg, agreed to pay the Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler $960 million for his remaining stakes in Congolese cobalt and copper mines. 31% stake in Mutanda Mining and an approximate 10.25% stake in Katanga Mining.

The Mutanda stake is valued at $922 million, and the holding in Toronto-listed Katanga is valued at $38 million, according to the statement from Glencore.

After Glencore will set-off against the cash consideration payable to Fleurette, loans owing to the mining company, Glencore will pay Fleurette Group, a company owned by Gertler’s family trust, $534 million cash, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The deal increases Glencore’s holding to 86.3 percent in Katanga. Glencore also take over $130 million in loans Mutanda owed to Fleurette.

The deal achieves two things: greater control of key assets at a time of booming copper and cobalt prices and a parting of ways from controversial billionaire Dan Gertler, a friends with President Joseph Kabila, after his business in the Democratic Republic of Congo attracted scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Back in December the company said it was reviewing bribery allegations said to implicate the billionaire. Gertler denies any wrongdoing and hasn’t been charged.

Cutting ties may protect the Glencore from political uncertainty if the president leaves power following planned elections this year.

UK Fraud Office Probes Israeli Billionaire Dan Gertler Over Mining Deals, Report

The deal marks another step in Glencore’s turnaround from the commodities crisis. After selling $10 billion in assets and cutting debt, it’s returning to dealmaking as commodity prices quickly rebound, Bloomberg reports.

The allegations are contained in a September deferred-prosecution agreement between hedge fund manager Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC and the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the agreement, Och-Ziff acknowledges participating in the bribing of Congolese officials. Och-Ziff’s partner in Congo among others paid more than $100 million in bribes over a decade-long period, according to the agreement. That partner is Gertler, person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

 

Dan Gertler, Diamond Trader

Glencore’s investments in Congo have long been in partnership with Gertler. The 23-year-old son of a diamond trading family, Gertler first landed in Congo in 1997 shortly after rebel leader Laurent Kabila toppled the government.

Gertler befriended Kabila’s son and army chief Joseph, who took over the reins in 2001, when the older Kabila was assassinated.

After years trading rough diamonds, Gertler branched out into copper, cobalt, iron ore and gold, building a business empire worth more than a billion dollars.

Gertler said in a statement on Monday: “We remain committed to the DRC and will continue to re-invest into the country as we have done for the last 20 years,”

Bloomberg says: “Some of those mines, including Mutanda, turned Congo into Africa’s top copper producer, paid billions in taxes, spurred economic growth, even as two-thirds of the population still live on less than $1.90 a day. In other cases, development of oil and copper deposits stalled after Gertler became a shareholder. This week’s deal with Glencore provides him with cash for such assets.”

 

 

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