June 30, 2022 | Editor: Martin Wennerström
Glencore subsidiary admits to bribery in UK trial
Glencore Energy, a subsidiary of Glencore PLC, has pleaded guilty to all counts of bribery brought against it by UK authorities. The company admitted to paying bribes amounting to USD 28 million for access to unduly favourable oil deals in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan. Sentencing is expected at the beginning of November. While the investigation has so far not formally extended to Glencore’s senior executives, UK authorities have confirmed that investigations into the company’s dealings are still ongoing. Earlier this year, Glencore said that they are expecting to pay up to USD 1.5 billion to accommodate settlements expected to arise from investigations in the UK, US and Brazil, where the company’s subsidiaries have admitted to various offences. Further investigations into the Glencore’s operations are being carried out by Dutch and Swiss authorities.
Kellogg announces plans to separate businesses
Kellogg plans to split its business into three listed companies, focused on breakfast cereals, snacks and plant-based foods. The spin-off is expected to conclude by the end of 2023. The plan was announced during an investor call by CEO Steve Cahillane, who will continue as Chairman and CEO of the snack company. Equity in the spun off entities would be distributed to current shareholders on a pro rata basis. However, the company is still exploring an alternative plan where the plan based business, being the smaller of the three units, would be sold rather than spun off.
Twitter board approves Musk bid, though hurdles remain
Twitter’s board has unanimously recommended that shareholders approve Elon Musk’s takeover bid. The deal is nevertheless not a foregone conclusion, for three main reasons. First, Musk recently threatened to walk away from the deal unless he is provided with data on spam and fake accounts, which he believes to have been understated. Second, Musk has confirmed that there is still work to be done on the financing of the deal. Third, the deal would be subject to formal shareholder approval. The initial offer would take the company private at a price of USD 54.20 per share, representing a 42.6% premium on the current USD 38 trading price.
Creditor files for dissolution of Evergrande
Investment firm Top Shine Global Ltd, owner of 0.46% of Fangchebao (FCB), a China Evergrande Group unit, filled a winding-up petition against the indebted Chinese property developer. According to a Top Shine executive, the petition comes in response to China Evergrande failure to comply with the terms of a 2021 agreement on the sale of 10% of its Fangchebao shares. The agreement provisioned for China Evergrande to repurchase the shares at a 15% premium if FCB failed to be publicly listed by April 8, 2022. China Evergrande said the petition will not interfere with its restructuring plan and that they will “vigorously” oppose the lawsuit filed by Top Shine Global.
Governance in Brief – June 8, 2023
European Parliament approves CSDDD The European Parliament has approved the “Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive.” Under the new rules, companies will be required to identify and address the negative impact of their activities and value chains on human rights and the environment. Additionally, companies will need to implement climate transition plans, and, in the case of companies with more than 1,000 employees, tie directors' variable compensation to target achievement.
Governance in Brief – June 1, 2023
Citigroup to IPO Banamex after Mexican gov’t interventions hamper sales deal Citigroup has announced a plan to spin off its Mexican business, Banamex, after a failure to sell the unit to conglomerate Grupo Mexico. Citigroup had been in talks with German Larrea, CEO and Chairman of Grupo Mexico, for over a year in an attempt to orchestrate the sale of the bank, which was first announced at the start of 2022.
Governance in Brief – May 25, 2023
Activist investor pushes for leadership and strategy changes at NRG Energy Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has disclosed a 13% stake in the US-based NRG Energy and called for leadership and operational changes at the company to remedy its “meaningful underperformance.” The investor urged NRG to add independent directors with experience in the power and energy sector to its board, noting that it has already identified five executives to guide the operational and strategic changes.