WASHINGTON — U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has sold his stake in a global shipping company, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, but not the one that has drawn criticism from members of Congress.
Ross sold his stake in Diamond S Shipping Group Inc., whose tanker fleet transports petroleum and other products, Commerce Department spokesman James Rockas told the nonprofit investigative reporting group. Rockas didn’t provide any additional details to the group on the sale.
The Commerce Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Members of Congress have criticized Ross for his stake in another shipping company, Navigator Holdings Ltd., which does business with a Russian company tied to a son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an oligarch under U.S. sanctions. Ross said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday that he would “probably not” maintain his stake in that company.
Ross wasn’t required to divest either asset when he joined the government.
Ross valued the funds holding his stake in Diamond S Shipping $2 million to $10 million, according to the 57-page financial disclosure form he filed in January. He will have to disclose the date of the sale to the Office of Government Ethics, but will report the amount he received in the same broad ranges that he gave for the value of the asset. He won’t be required to disclose the buyer.
Ross’s company, W.L. Ross & Co., owned as much as 32 percent of Diamond S Shipping as of 2014, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A Chinese sovereign wealth fund, Chengdong Investment Corp., held an 8.6 percent stake. Diamond S Shipping was formed in 2011 to acquire 30 shipping companies for $1.17 billion.