Exclusive: Gunvor's Timchenko eyes downstream buys

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2012 5:54 AM
Exclusive: Gunvor's Timchenko eyes downstream buys
ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Gennady Timchenko, co-owner of Gunvor, says now is the right time to buy downstream assets, as he eyes transforming his fast-growing Russian trading house into a vertically integrated energy business.But, in an exclusive interview with Reuters on Thursday, Timchenko said he was not ready for big purchases, such as the one-half stake in TNK-BP, Russia's No.3 oil firm, that has been put up for sale by British oil major BP."It (TNK-BP) is a very big company, we are not ready for such big purchases, we did not even discuss this subject," Timchenko said on the fringes of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum."We have become active in buying oil refineries now as we think that now is the right time to enter oil refining."Gunvor recently bought bankrupt Swiss oil firm Petroplus's refinery in Ingolstadt, Germany, following an earlier deal to buy a plant in Antwerp, Belgium.Timchenko added that Gunvor may look at other "interesting possibilities" in downstream if they arise.Timchenko, viewed as having good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he owns just over 46 percent in Gunvor. Chief Executive Torbjorn Tornqvist owns 46 percent, while the rest is owned by management.(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Douglas Busvine)