Danish investors in bankrupt OW Bunker to sue IPO banks

OW Bunker

A group of 24 Danish institutional investors in OW Bunker said on Tuesday it would sue Carnegie Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley , accusing both of misleading them about the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier.

The investors, including two of Denmark’s largest pension funds, ATP and PFA, say they lost 767 million crowns ($123 million) after buying OW Bunker shares “on the basis of a prospectus which was insufficient in material aspects”.

Denmark’s OW Bunker was valued at $1 billion when it floated in March 2014, but the company filed for bankruptcy in November that year after suffering hedging losses of almost $300 million, sending shockwaves through the global shipping and oil trading industry.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the lawsuit, while Carnegie defended its handling of initial public offerings, saying it would contest any claims against it.

It said it did not know the details of the writ. “But as we have stated many times following the bankruptcy of OW Bunker in 2014, we are confident that we have all necessary routines, quality standards and people in place to conduct proper IPOs and we will defend any claims vigorously,” a Carnegie spokesman said in a written response to Reuters.

The investor group is already suing the bankrupt OW Bunker, and the former board and management.

It said it had now decided to extend the case, which is pending at the Danish Eastern High Court, due to new information.

“We believe that the banks knew about OW Bunker’s speculative activities and that the banks contributed to misleading investors. Against this background, we believe that they may be liable to pay damages,” said ATP’s head of legal investments, Tomas Krueger Andersen, in a statement.

Denmark’s state prosecutor in July charged the former manager of OW Bunker’s Singapore subsidiary with fraud but cleared the Danish management of any criminal wrongdoing.

Last month, another group of investors said it planned to sue Morgan Stanley and Carnegie in connection with the OW Bunker bankruptcy.

[reuters]

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