Bunker company Endofa is now opening a new office in Denmark. The company, founded in 2012 , also has offices in Houston, France and Angola and is registered in Dubai with its current headquarters - but the company would like to use its Danish office as headquarters over time, says Endofa partner Kenn Søndergaard.
"Our long-term strategy is that, within the next two to four years, we'll turn the Danish office into our main offices. And there are three major reasons for that," he tells ShippingWatch:
"First of all, Dubai is sometimes synonymous with the fact that it's a little easier to do business out there, and that tax shelter-like activities can take place. That's not how we run our business, but we'd also like to rid ourselves of that reputation. We would like to run a more transparent business in a country where the authorities go in and take stock of our activities and monitor them. This will keep us focused while also giving banks and other creditors a much better basis on which to evaluate us."
Endofa - like probably the rest of the international bunker industry - has experienced a certain degree of skepticism from the world following OW Bunker's collapse in 2014, a development that unveiled comprehensive fraud and management problems at the company. Endofa is looking to clear up this skepticism by basing the company in Denmark. And furthermore, the fall of OW Bunker and the dismantling of the company's headquarters along with several hundred employees in Aalborg has cleared the space for new companies.
"We're not even close to the size OW Bunker had, or other major bunker players for that matter. But there'll come a time when Danish and European companies will be asking which solid bunker supplier to contact. And we'd like to feature among them. A Danish HQ is also a matter of joining the big-leagues and emphasizing that we're good at shipping and bunker in North Europe," says Kenn Søndergaard.
Danish base and Danish employees
The other two reasons Endofa is targeting Denmark for its HQ are very much tied to the company's Danish base.
"Our roots are Danish, and as such we feel that we belong in Denmark with a Danish address. Meanwhile, we'd also like to have offices abroad, but we can feel that several of our Danish key employees are becoming more interested in returning to Denmark. We want to be able to keep them, and as such it makes sense to have a Danish office," says Kenn Søndergaard.
Endofa will be far from the only bunker company in the Tuborg Havn port, just north of Copenhagen, which is also home to a significant portion of the Danish shipping sector. Germany's Bomin Group as well as Gibraltar-based Peninsula Petroleum also have offices in Tuborg Havn.
Endofa has a fleet of four vessels, which the company would like to grow to seven over time, and Endofa has noted a steady growth in profits in the past year. The company's revenue target for 2014 was USD 350 million, but the annual report for 2014 has yet to be published.