Shares of bunker supplier Aegean Petroleum collapse after it reveals $200m write-off

The share price of New York-based New York stock exchange-listed Aegean Marine Petroleum Network fell by more than 75% on Tuesday June 5th after the major bunker fuel supplier said that it would probably have to write off $200m of accounts receivable.

Late on Monday the company published the preliminary results of an Audit Committee internal review into the company’s financial statement for 2017. The review, which had previously been announced by the company, showed that amounts due from four counterparties, totalling approximately $172m by December 31st 2016 and $85m as of December 31st 2015 may have been the result of transactions carried out unlawfully and would probably not be paid.

“The transactions that gave rise to the accounts receivable may have been, in full or in part, without economic substance and improperly accounted for in contravention of the Company’s normal policies and procedures”, Aegean Petroleum said, adding that it could not determine the full impact on the financial statements or how the adjustment would be recorded. It also said that other adjustments could result from the Audit Committee’s review that could impact the financial statements. The Audit Committee’s review and investigation into the transactions is continuing, but the preliminary findings have already been reported to the SEC and the Department of Justice.

Aegean said that several people employed by the company who were believed to have been involved in the transactions have either had their employment terminated or have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Donald Moore, Chairman of the Board, said that “the new Board is taking all necessary actions to improve financial and operating performance and enhance both transparency and corporate governance in order to deliver value to our shareholders and other stakeholders. We thank our employees for their continued dedication and our new and existing customers and suppliers for their continued support. We are confident that Aegean is moving toward its goal of being the leader in the physical supply and marketing of marine fuel,”

Aegean supplies marine bunker fuel in 27 markets and 57 ports around the world, with a fleet of 61 bunkering tankers and 12m cubic meters of tank storage.

The announcement came four years after Denmark-based OW Bunker, then the world’s leading supplier of marine fuel oil, filed for bankruptcy less than 48 hours after revealing an alleged $125m bunker fraud scandal.