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28 investors launch legal action against bankrupt OW Bunker

28 investors launch legal action against bankrupt OW Bunker
A group of 28 institutional investors is starting legal action against bankrupt OW Bunker and members of its former management.

Pension fund ATP said the legal cased would focus on liability for OW Bunker’s IPO prospectus and securities disclosures.

The move follows an investigation launched in December last year into the bankruptcy of OW Bunker by nine institutional investors, including ATP.

To date 28 institutional investors with claims totaling over DKK800m ($120m) have decidedto bring legal proceedings.

ATP said: “Two actions will be brought: One of the actions concern prospectus liability and will be brought against OW Bunker, relevant former members of OW Bunker's management and relevant Altor entities.

“The other action concerns liability for non-compliance with the disclosure obligations under stock exchange regulation and will be brought against OW Bunker and relevant former members of OW Bunker's management.

OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy last November just over six months after a $900m IPO on Copenhagen’s NASDAQ Exchange. One of the world’s largest bunkering companies OW Bunker collapsed in the space of just two days after it revealed $150m in risk management losses, and $125m loss from an alleged fraud at Singapore subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading.

"It is our duty towards ATP's members to seek to recover as much as possible of the loss incurred as a result of OW Bunker's bankruptcy,” said ATP’s chief general counsel, Kenneth Joensen. “This was a highly negative event on the Danish stock market, and there is a strong need for clarifying the events preceding the bankruptcy and determining responsibility.”

Anders Damgaard, CIO of PFA Pension, also participating the legal action said: “It should not be possible for the company described in the prospectus to be declared bankrupt only six months after the IPO.

“It is therefore extremely important to identify what went wrong and to determine responsibility. Both in order to obtain the best possible compensation for our clients' losses, to shed light on the weaknesses of the framework conditions for IPOs, and not least to ensure that something like this will not happen again."