(Reuters) - Independent trading houses such as Glencore are among the most active players in global energy and commodity markets but are not yet household names outside of the industry.
Glencore said it plans to raise up to $12.1 billion in a London and Hong Kong share offering.
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Following are details on the world's top independent traders by: 1- Turnover
2- Chairman, chief executive officer
3- Year founded, founder
5- Staff numbers
6- Focus, operations, events
VITOL GROUP <VITOLV.UL>
1- 2010 revenue $195 billion
2- President and CEO: Ian Taylor
3- 1966, Ian Taylor
4- Geneva, Switzerland; Rotterdam, the Netherlands
6- Top focus is physical oil trading. It scaled down derivatives trading several years ago. Last week, Vitol was first to export oil from rebel-held Libya.
Assets include storage tanks, exploration and production in the Philippines, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and the Fujairah refinery in the United Arab Emirates.
Vitol and Glencore were among dozens of firms accused of paying kickbacks to Iraq in 2005 by a commission that probed the United Nation's Oil for Food program. Vitol was fined $17.5 million after pleading guilty.
GLENCORE INTERNATIONAL AG <GLEN.UL>
1- 2010 revenue nearly $145 billion. Net income $3.8 billion
2- CEO: Ivan Glasenberg
3- 1974. Founded by Marc Rich as Marc Rich & Co.
4- Baar, Switzerland
6- Glencore has three main business groups - metals and minerals, energy and agricultural products. It holds large stakes in publicly listed firms such as Xstrata <XTA.L>
CARGILL INC <CARG.UL>
1- 2010 global sales of $108 billion
2- Chief executive: Greg Page
3- Started in 1865 by William Wallace Cargill at the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865 in Iowa with one grain storage silo.
4- Minneapolis, Minnesota
6- Involved in agribusiness, energy trading, meat and food ingredient applications, biofuels production, animal nutrition products, and industrial products such as steel and salt.
W.W. Cargill's son-in-law, John MacMillan Sr, took over leadership of the company in 1909. Today, nearly 90 percent of the company is still owned by the Cargill and MacMillan families. The remainder is owned by employees.
1- 2009 revenue near $100 billion, according to sources.
2- Chairman and CEO: David Koch
3- Fred Koch co-founded Winkler-Koch Engineering in 1925.
4- Wichita, Kansas
5- 50,000 in the United States, 20,000 internationally
6- Interests include oil refining and transportation, petrochemicals, forestry and paper, and ranching.
Family firm run by the conservative-activist Koch brothers, David and Charles (executive VP). The duo has been pumping millions into advocacy groups and political campaigns of right-wing U.S. politicians and candidates.
Koch has argued against evidence of global warming as a result of industrial activity.
1- 2010 turnover $79.2 billion
2- Claude Dauphin
3- 1993. Claude Dauphin, Eric de Turkheim and Graham Sharp. It split off from a group of companies run by Marc Rich.
4- Geveva, Switzerland
5- 4,000. It is moving staff from London to Geneva.
6- Focuses on crude oil, products, non-ferrous, concentrates and refined metals trading and transportation.
In 2009, Trafigura and lawyers representing about 30,000 Ivorians agreed on a pre-trial settlement to end a class action lawsuit, which had accused it of causing illness by dumping toxic waste off Ivory coast in 2006.
GUNVOR INTERNATIONAL B.V
1- 2010 turnover $65 billion.
2- Chairman: Torbjorn Tornqvist
3- Founded in 1997 by Swedish oil trader Tornqvist and Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko.
4- Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Geneva, Switzerland
5- Less than 500
6- Focuses on oil trading with emphasis on Russia. Has expanded in power and coal trading.
In 2008, Timchenko wrote an open letter to say media speculation that he enjoyed special ties with Russia's former president and current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, were overblown.
ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND CO. <ADM.N>
1- Net sales $62 billion (fiscal year to June 30, 2010)
2- CEO: Patricia Woertz
3- 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by John Daniels and George Archer
4- Decatur, Illinois, listed on the NYSE
6- Focuses on oilseeds, corn processing, agricultural services, storage and transportation, wheat milling, cocoa processing and food ingredients business.
It is known for converting a beverage alcohol plant into its first ethanol fuel facility in 1978 during the Arab Oil Embargo.
NOBLE GROUP <NOBG.SI>
1- 2010 revenue $56.7 billion. Net profit $606 million.
2- Chairman: Richard Elman, CEO: Ricardo Leiman
3- 1986 by Elman.
4- Hong Kong, China.
6- Noble, which is listed in Singapore, has interests from Brazilian sugar to Australian coal.
Shareholders include China Investment Corp <CIC.UL>, which in 2009 bought a 14.5 percent stake for $850 million.
(This story was corrected to show Glencore's revenue figure is $145 billion)