NEW YORK Aug 5 Glencore Plc, one of
the world's largest mining companies, has asked a U.S. judge to
dismiss it as a defendant from nationwide antitrust litigation
over the alleged manipulation of aluminum prices.
In a Monday night filing with the U.S. District Court in
Manhattan, Glencore said it lacks minimal contacts with New
York, Michigan and California, where the alleged violations took
place, and does not even conduct any business in those states.
Glencore said it is solely a Jersey holding company with
offices in Baar, Switzerland, and as a result has never bought
or sold physical aluminum, London Metal Exchange warrants or LME
aluminum futures, and never owned or operated warehouses.
Two Glencore units that operate warehouses, Pacorini Metals
USA LLC and Dutch-based Pacorini Metals Vlissingen BV, are also
defendants in the litigation and did not join Monday's filing.
Plaintiffs in the various cases include so-called direct
purchaser plaintiffs, commercial end-user plaintiffs, consumer
end-user plaintiffs, flashlight maker Mag Instrument Inc, and a
unit of Belgium's Agfa Graphics NV that supplies the newspaper,
commercial printing and graphics communications industries.
The plaintiffs generally accused JPMorgan Chase & Co
, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Glencore, their
warehousing units, warehouse operator Metro International Trade
Services LLC and the LME of having conspired since May 2009 to
drive up aluminum prices by reducing supply.
This alleged collusion caused delays, sometimes referred to
as queues, of up to 16 months to fill orders, plaintiffs have
said. Twenty-six price-fixing lawsuits were combined in December
before U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan.
Christopher Lovell, a lawyer for many of the plaintiffs, did
not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment.
Walter Noss, a lawyer for Agfa and Mag, did not immediately
respond to similar requests.
Last week, Henry Bath & Son Ltd, a British affiliate of
JPMorgan, also cited jurisdictional issues in seeking to dismiss
claims brought against it.
The case is In re: Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust
Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York,
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom