Pension giants take action against OW Bunker

Major Danish pension companies ATP and PFA announce lawsuits claiming damages of over 800 million kroner

A number of institutional investors from ATP and PFA Pension have announced  lawsuits claiming damages of approximately 800 million kroner in the wake of OW Bunker’s dramatic bankruptcy last year.

“The entire process surrounding the IPO (initial public offering) of OW Bunker and the subsequent bankruptcy is simply unacceptable,” Anders Damgaard, vice president of the PFA, told Finans.

“It should not be possible for the company to go bankrupt just six months after the IPO. It is extremely important to identify what has gone wrong and place some responsibility. This is essential in order to replace our customer loss, to illustrate the weaknesses of the framework conditions for IPOs and not least, to ensure that something similar does not happen again.”

Unsatisfied stakeholders
The announcement comes a mere month after 3500 private shareholders announced lawsuits against the company’s two key investment banks, Carnegie and Morgan Stanley, which helped to bring OW Bunker on the exchange.

A total of 27 institutional investors, most of whom are pension funds and mutual funds, have calculated their losses at OW Bunker to approximately 800 million kroner.

Of these, ATP and PFA have recorded the largest losses of 166 million kroner and 164 million kroner.

OW Bunker under fire
OW Bunker went public in March 2014 and went bankrupt in November after massive losses on oil speculation and huge credit to a highly questionable customer in Singapore.

The company has since been under fire for having understated its risks for investors in the sales material that was handed up to the IPO.

Lawyers have also questioned whether OW Bunker’s CEO, Jim Pedersen, misinformed stock exchange in a financial report issued October, 2014. It was stated that the maximum loss from the company’s risk management department could not exceed 24.5 million kroner. Shortly after, it exploded to 150 million kroner.

ATP is yet to make comment on their decision to file a lawsuit.