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OW’s US arms pursue $45m in unpaid bills

January 4, 2016

TradeWinds
By Eric Martin

The US affiliates of OW Bunker are still on the prowl for $44.6m in unpaid receivables, according to lawyers for the companies.

The Danish fuel supply giant’s main secured creditor, ING Bank, has joined forces with OW Bunker USA and OW Bunker North America after the two reached a settlement that paved a way for confirmation of the OW affiliates’ US bankruptcy plan in a federal court in Connecticut earlier this month.

Robert O’Connor, a Montgomery McCracken litigator representing the OW entities left orphaned by their parent company’s collapse late last year, said that in cases where the affiliates were “contract suppliers” for bunkers, a liquidation trust will use a combination of measures to collect,  including settlement negotiations, vessel arrests and other legal proceedings.

“The confirmation of the plan is a big turning point for the US [OW Bunker] bankruptcy,” O’Connor said. “It’s a positive sign that it’s moving in the right direction. I think the industry as a whole is eager to see these disputes resolved.”

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O’Connor told TradeWinds that the shipowner debts will be tackled on a case-by-case basis.

“In instances where there is no third-party supplier involved, … it’s pretty straightforward, the customer should pay,” he said. “And that’s where we’ve been having some success in terms of collecting without litigation.”

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