PARIS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A group of senior European and Black Sea grain traders who left Louis Dreyfus at the end of August plan to launch a new firm targeting the Ukrainian market, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.
The traders, including former Louis Dreyfus Global Head of Grains David Ohayon and former head of Ukraine Lamprakis Lazos, have not said what they would do after leaving the firm.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the new company would be based in Switzerland and start operating in early 2018. Ohayon would remain in Geneva, while Lazos would lead activities in Ukraine and hire more staff there, they said.
Ohayon and Lazos did not respond to requests for comment.
Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters, shipping corn and wheat in competition with the European Union and United States.
Ohayon left Louis Dreyfus, one of the world's top grain trading firms, after differences of opinion with the company's management. He was replaced by Adrian Isman as Senior Head of Grains and Value Chain Platforms.
Louis Dreyfus' grain division has struggled to make profits in a period of high global supplies and subdued prices, in line with other major agricultural trading companies.
The group said the business had weak results in the first half of the year, even as the wider company posted improved profits. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, Gus Trompiz and Valerie Parent in Paris, Pavel Polityuk in Kiev, Tom Miles in Geneva, Silke Koltrowitz in Zurich, Jonathan Saul in London and Polina Devitt in Moscow; Editing by Veronica Brown and Alexander Smith)