Trafigura moves closer to IPO for subsidiary

TRAFIGURA, one of the world’s largest commodities traders, has sold a 20 per cent stake in its oil storage business Puma Energy to Angola’s state-owned oil company, as it prepares to bring the $3.5bn (£2.2bn) subsidiary to market.

The Geneva-based company said it may float Puma within the next 18 months, reducing its role to a minority stake, without disclosing details of where it would list and how much capital it would aim to raise.

“If we wanted to be more aggressive and accelerate our plans, we would like to have access to public markets. Realistically you would look at 18 months from now at the earliest,” Puma chief executive Pierre Eladari said yesterday.

He declined to comment on whether Trafigura has its own plans to go public.

Trafigura has grown into the second largest metals traders after Glencore and the third largest oil trader since being set up 18 years ago by trader Claude Dauphin.

Dauphin worked for now-defunct trading house Marc Rich & Co, which later transformed into Glencore after a management buy-out.

Trafigura set up Puma Energy in 1997, which now operates in 26 countries, employing 1,800 people.