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Reference no. IMD-7-2126
Compact case
Published by:
Institute for Management Development (IMD) (2019)
Revision date:
1 pages
Data source:
Published sources


This is part of a case series. OW Bunker, founded in 1953, was a Danish marine fuel ('bunker') company. It was Denmark's third largest company (measured on revenue) and the world's largest bunker supplier until its collapse on 7 November 2014. Similar to many other commodity traders, OW Bunker's business model was about buying the physical oil in order to sell at a later stage ('physical distribution') OR to simply act as a broker between the physical supplier and the ship-owner ('re-selling'). In essence, the business can be characterized as a high volume/high revenue/small margin business, wherefore scale and risk management are key parameters for success. In 2007, 93.5% of the company were acquired by leading Scandinavian private equity company, Altor, and in the following years, the company grew significantly, and sales volume grew nearly 100%, from 15 million ton in 2007 to 29.6 million ton in 2013, at which time an exit was decided upon. When a private sales transaction did not succeed, Altor decided to pursuit an exit through an IPO, which with a Market Cap of about USD900 million, became the largest IPO in Denmark in many years.


Corporate governance; Board; Risk management; Initial public offering; Prospectus; Bankruptcy; Collapse; Fraud


The events covered by this item took place in March 28th, 2014 - November 7th, 2014.

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Company name:
OW Bunker
USD 900 million
Oil and gas

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