Och-Ziff Falls on Report Saying Firm Financed Africa Deal

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC fell the most in more than five years after the Wall Street Journal reported that the hedge-fund firm run by Daniel Och helped finance controversial oil and mining deals in Africa.

Och-Ziff made two loans with a total value of $234 million to companies controlled by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, the newspaper said, citing documents. The loans were routed through offshore companies, the paper said.

Och-Ziff fell 9.9 percent to $11.65 at the close of trrading in New York, the biggest drop since March 2009. The New York-based firm’s shares have tumbled 21 percent this year.

The firm received subpoenas starting in 2011 from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as part of a probe into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the New York-based company said in a March 19 regulatory filing.

Och-Ziff’s loans helped finance two of Gertler’s ventures in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has acknowledged developing close ties with President Joseph Kabila, the Journal reported.

Gertler contests any accusations of wrongdoing in his Congo dealings, a spokesman for the investor told the Journal.

Peter Ogden, a spokesman for Gertler at Maitland Consultancy Ltd. in London, said he couldn’t immediately comment on the story, as did Jonathan Gasthalter, a spokesman for Och-Ziff at Sard Verbinnen & Co.