Shareholders consider damages suit against OW Bunker

The marine fuel distribution giant continues to sustain hits after massive loss announcement

Dansk Aktionærforening, the Danish Shareholders Association, is looking into filing a lawsuit against OW Bunker on behalf of 20,000 shareholders who have lost their savings, reports DR.

“A responsibility must be placed on someone for this spectacular bankruptcy,” the association tells DR.

“There is no one crying about losing money on shares,” Jens Møller Nielsen, director of Dansk Aktionærforening, tells BBC. “The problem is that we have been sold a completely different story from the IPO. It’s false advertisement.”

READ MORE: OW Bunker reeling from massive fraud case

Many questions swirl
The shareholder association wants to look into what exactly happened, when and why, and who knew about what was going on. This will not only help authorities, but can help the association in determining what kind of legal action they can pursue for damages.

“The industry is swirling with rumours these days,” says Nielsen. “Therefore a big responsibility rests on the trustees and financial crimes bureau to fully investigate what happened.”

Lips have been tight at the company, but Niels Henrik Jensen, OW Bunker chairman, offered one detail: the man responsible for the alleged fraud was a Singapore employee who “turned up at the company’s office and told his manager”, reports Bloomberg.

Stock market "poisoned"
Carsten Borring, head of listings and capital markets at Nasdaq OMX in Copenhagen told Bloomberg that “surprises like this are poison to the stock market and this is one of the big surprises.”

“There is no doubt this case is damaging to investors and the stock market,” Borring said.” The market depends deeply on the relationship of trust between investors and companies.”

Should the shareholders association go ahead with a lawsuit, Nielsen describes it as a “test case” in Danish legal history for damages.