Oil trader Gunvor denies talks with competitors to sell itself

Gunvor Group Ltd, one of the world's largest oil traders, is in talks on a possible sale of the company with at least two competitors,The Wall Street Journal today reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Its main competitors are Glencore, Vitol, Mercuria and Trafigura.

However, Gunvor co-founder and CEO, Torbjorn Tornqvist said the company had no sale plans at this time, the report said.

"I expect to remain a dominant shareholder in the group for the foreseeable future," Tornqvist told the Journal via email.

Gunvor is a privately-owned company, majority owned by Törnqvist, who holds 61 per cent while the remaining is owned by senior employees.

Gunvor was founded in 2004 by Tornqvist, an ex employee of British oil giant BP plc, and Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko.

After the US imposed sanctions on Timchenko in 2014, Timchenko sold his stake to Tornqvist, whose holding jumped to more than 90 per cent.

Gunvor sources crude oil and refined oil products from more than 100 countries, has industrial assets worth over $2 billion, and works with more than 75 global financial institutions across Asia-Pacific, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based company operates in the trade, transport, storage of petroleum and other energy products, as well as having investments in oil terminal and port facilities.

Its operations consist of securing crude oil upstream and delivering it to market via pipelines and tankers.

Gunvor had 2015 sales of $64 billion, while operating profit was $1.25 billion.