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The logo of Mercuria Energy Ltd. is displayed during the 21st World Energy Congress in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.(bloomberg)
(Bloomberg) -- Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. revealed how much each of its top executives and founders control of its parent company offering a rare glimpse into the ownership structure of one of the world’s largest energy traders.
In an application seeking permission for a U.S. subsidiary to export electricity to Mexico, Mercuria included a detailed list of its shareholders. The obscure regulatory filing reveals the individuals and entities behind a company that in little more than a decade has risen to become one of the world’s five-largest independent oil traders, handling more than 2 million barrels of crude and refined products a day.
Mercuria’s top three executives -- all former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers -- control 34.4 percent of Mercuria Energy Group Holding Ltd., a British Virgin Islands company that is the ultimate parent of the trading house, the July 30 filing with the U.S. Energy Department shows. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Marco Dunand, co-founder and President Daniel Jaeggi and Mercuria’s global head of trading Magid Shenouda control the stake through a Guernsey-registered company called MDJ Oil Trading Ltd.
In addition, the filing lists CCPC (Hong Kong) Ltd., a subsidiary of China National Chemical Corp., known as ChemChina, as owning 12 percent of Mercuria. ChemChina and Mercuria agreed in April to a deal that will see China’s biggest chemicals company increase its holding in Mercuria in exchange for the trading firm investing in its refineries.
The exact ownership stake that ChemChina will hold hasn’t been disclosed for the deal, which has yet to close.
Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, filed a motion Friday to intervene in Mercuria’s application, saying it was incomplete because it fails to “reflect the recent increase in the ownership stake by ChemChina, a corporation controlled by a foreign government.”
Matt Lauer, a Mercuria spokesman, said the filing properly reflects ChemChina’s stake in Mercuria. The recent agreement to increase ChemChina’s stake in Mercuria hasn’t been completed and the exact amount of the stake increase hasn’t been finalized, he said.
Lauer declined to comment on the ownership structure and said the original shareholders would also decline to comment. Three original investors in Mercuria hold a combined stake of almost 18 percent of the parent via three separate Lichtenstein-based entities, according to the document. A representative for Polaroid Originals, which Mercuria investor Wiaczeslaw Smolokowski bought last year, confirmed that the Smolokowski Foundation is a shareholder of Mercuria and referred other questions to the company.
The parent company, Mercuria EGH, has 79.8 percent of the shares in Cyprus-based Mercury Energy Group Ltd., but controls 100 percent of Mercuria’s voting rights, according to the document.
Other holders of the parent company listed in the filing:
- Smolokowski and his family control 7.2 percent; Gregory Jankilevitsch and his family hold 7.2 percent; Vadim Linetskiy and his family control a 3.5 percent stake
- An entity called Hannos Investment Holdings Ltd. owns 2 percent
- Cyprus-based Mercuria Energy Group Trustco Ltd. holds a 13.4 percent stake. In a prior filing related to its holdings in Argentina, Mercuria has said the Cyprus entity “is acting as trustee of the trust which holds shares in Mercuria EGH which are available for future investors in Mercuria EGH”
- The remaining 20.2 percent of the parent company is held by the firm’s employees directly and through an employee stock ownership program. None of the employees holding the non-voting shares owns more than 5 percent of the company, Mercuria says in the filing.
(Updates with response from Smolokowski representative in eighth paragraph.)
--With assistance from Stephen Cunningham.
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