Exclusive: Mercuria sees 10-20 percent stake sale before end-2013

Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:02pm EDT
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By Christopher Johnson

LONDON (Reuters) - Commodity trader Mercuria expects to draw up a shortlist of investors to buy 10 to 20 percent of the firm in four to six weeks and hopes a sale will be concluded by the end of the year, Chief Executive Marco Dunand said on Tuesday.

Mercuria, privately owned and one of the world's top five energy traders with a turnover of more than $100 billion, has recently diversified into other commodities and has said in the past it has considered linking up with a sovereign wealth fund to help it expand.

Dunand, who co-founded the company with veteran oil trader Daniel Jaeggi, said in an interview that negotiations with potential investors would take several months and had to be done carefully so that the right partner could be found.

"We are in a process that will take some months, but I would expect the sale to happen before the year-end," Dunand said.

"Within the next four to six weeks, we are going to narrow the list of people we are going to enter into more serious discussions with," he said.

Dunand declined to say how much the company expected to raise in the stake sale but added that it would help Mercuria expand into new areas.

"I have an idea of how much I would expect, but I can't share that at this point," he said.

Over the past year, Mercuria has spread its wings across the commodities markets, investing in trading units in metals and agriculture and setting up a joint venture with China's Sinopec Corp (0386.HK: Quote) to run a European oil tank storage business.   Continued...

Daniel Jaeggi, co-founder and Group Vice President, Head of Oil trading at Mercuria Energy Group pauses during a panel discussion at the first Global Commodities Summit in Lausanne April 24, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse