JPMorgan closes in on big commodities deal

JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York.
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After weeks of negotiations with the Swiss trading firm Mercuria Energy Trading over a potential purchase of its physical commodities unit, executives at JPMorgan Chase are close to greenlighting a deal, according to people familiar with the matter, one of whom said an announcement could come within the next week.

Mercuria, the Geneva-based trading firm that specializes in sourcing and shipping petroleum and refined products, entered into exclusive negotiations with JPMorgan in early February after the bank completed talks with dozens of other suitors.

In recent weeks, said one of these people, Mercuria representatives have spent time in JPMorgan's U.S. offices, meeting employees and evaluating assets.