Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Oil trader Gunvor Group Ltd. purchased a stake in a Paraguay-based petroleum supplier in a deal that further diversifies it away from its Russian roots.

Gunvor invested in Monte Alegre SA, an oil product, petrochemical, concrete and plastics supplier based in Mariano Roque Alonso, Paraguay, according to a statement by law firm Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, which said it advised Gunvor on the deal.

Gunvor has been aggressively diversifying its operations after the company severed ties to Gennady Timchenko, the Russian oligarch who co-founded the business with Swedish national Torbjorn Tornqvist. Gunvor has purchased refineries in Europe, expanded its operations in Asia and plans to open a trading office in Houston, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Timchenko sold his 44 percent stake in Gunvor to Tornqvist in 2014, the day before he was sanctioned by the U.S. for his close ties to Vladimir Putin. Gunvor sold the bulk of its Russian assets last year and reported record profit of $1.25 billion.

A Gunvor spokesman in Geneva declined to comment on the investment in Monte Alegre, which was founded in 1999, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Hoffman in Geneva at ahoffman31@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Alex Devine, Dylan Griffiths

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