Danish Shareholders’ Association Preparing Lawsuits

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Danish Shareholders’ Association is preparing what might turn out to be several lawsuits related to OW Bunker bankruptcy case, according to Jens Moller Nielsen, CEO of Danish Shipowners’ Association.

As explained by Mr Nielsen, the association is currently gathering private investors to prepare the lawsuits, however, it is hard to identify at the moment who shall actually be targeted by them.

The court has appointed trustees, John Sommer Schmidt and Pernille Bigaard, to look into the case and OW Bunker will probably close down, meaning that the targeted entities might be either the company management, its board of directors or the private equity fund Altor and the underwriting banks that sold the OW Bunker on the Danish stock market.

Mr Nielsen told World Maritime News staff that there are two reasons that led to OW Bunker’s bankruptcy: gambling on the oil market and the Singapore credit line.

OW Bunker was introduced to the Danish stock market by private equity fund Altor only seven months ago, and according to Nielsen, it was presented as a very conservative marine fuel distributor.

Nevertheless, OW Bunker’s way of doing business has proven to be an extremely speculative in terms of oil pricing. What is more, the company did not ensure sufficient safeguards to prevent credit lines from building up.

The Danish group of companies under formal Danish bankruptcy proceedings are OW Bunker A/S, O.W. Bunker & Trading A/S, O.W. Bunker Supply & Trading A/S and O.W. Cargo Denmark A/S.

Danish police has not yet received a report for an investigation and they are still trying to determine under whose jurisdiction the case falls.

“The Danish police and the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime pay very close attention to the case concerning OW Bunker. There is a close contact between the Danish police, the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime and the insolvency administrators of the insolvent estate of OW Bunker. The police have not received any reports yet,” Morten Niels Jakobsen, Spokesperson for Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime told World Maritime News.

The company together with its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy on November 7, attributing to its losses, among other things, an alleged fraud committed by senior employees in its Singapore-based subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading (DOT).

The unnamed employees are said to be involved in a fraud that cost the company at least USD 125 million.

Separately, OW Bunker said that a review of risk management contracts has revealed a significant risk management loss around USD 150 million.

World Maritime News

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