Trafigura, the controversial oil trading group that was forced to pay millions of dollars relating to toxic waste spills, could raise billions in a London Stock Exchange flotation next year.
The secretive, Geneva-based group is drawing up plans to list its Puma Energy subsidiary in a deal that could see the company valued at up to £3bn. Reports over the weekend suggested Trafigura and Puma (Other OTC: PMMAF.PK - news) were only weeks away from finishing preparatory work that could lead to a flotation of the petrol stations to oil refinery business.
Any public offer could make Trafigura’s 700 traders and partners millions of pounds. The company, which was set up in 1993, owns 65pc of Puma. Although it is not certain at this point what percentage of the Puma would be listed it is thought Trafigura would take its stake to well below 50pc. The reduced stake would allow Puma to operate as a standalone company.
Trafigura hit the headlines two years ago when it was accused of poisoning swathes of Ivory Coast through the import of toxic waste. Although the company denied any wrongdoing it paid out $120m to settle the case.
Its (Euronext: ALITS.NX - news) subsidiary Puma operates almost exclusively in high growth developing economies. It currently operates in 34 countries, mostly in South America and Africa. Its staff numbers have risen from 450 to 25,000 in five years, in part through acquisitions.
The flotation of Puma would be the largest London listing in the oil and gas sector since its rival Glencore raised over £6bn on the London Stock Exchange last year.
A Puma spokesperson said: “Puma Energy is well funded by its existing shareholders and has no immediate needs to go to the public markets.
“As we have stated previously, an IPO could be one of various options at some point in the future.”