Macfarlanes wins role on latest Trafigura job

Macfarlanes successfully pitched to win a role advising Trafigura opposite Norton Rose on the ­disposal of a stake in Puma Energy International.

As part of the deal, Sonangol Holdings has acquired a 20 per cent stake in Puma Energy for an undisclosed amount from Trafigura. The disposal is seen as the first step towards a flotation by Trafigura of its petroleum terminals and storage subsidiary Puma Energy, which has interests in 26 jurisdictions, including a number in Africa and South America.

Macfarlanes corporate partner Howard Corney advised Trafigura on the deal following a competitive tender last year. He was assisted by associate Justin Hope.

Macfarlanes has a history of roughly three years advising Trafigura on corporate deals. Although Macfarlanes won this mandate, the trading company has had a close relationship with DLA Piper, which was brought in to advise on due diligence. Trade finance partner Charles Morrison led this mandate.

Macfarlanes acted for Trafigura in 2008 in a major class action brought by 30,000 claimants over the dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast in 2006.

Puma Energy is the world’s second-largest ­metals trader, behind Glencore and Vitol. The deal ­follows several others in the commodities industry, including the sale of a 50 per cent stake in its ­petroleum terminals and storage business to Petronas in 2010 and the IPO of Glencore earlier this year.

Norton Rose partner Mauro Mattiuzzo acted for Sonangol.