U.S. Firm Takes Biggest Nynas Stake

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U.S. Firm Takes Biggest Nynas Stake
Company employees walk through one of Nynas' facilities. Nynas is one of the world’s largest suppliers of naphthenic base stocks. Photo courtesy of Nynas

A United States investment firm is the largest shareholder of Stockholm-based Nynas AB after acquiring a 49.9% stake in the refiner. The firm played a role in Nynas’ recent financial restructuring.

New York City-based Davidson Kempner Capital Management acquired the stake from bitumen producer Bitumina Industries Ltd., which had bought the stake from Finnish refiner Neste. Davidson Kempner has more than $36 billion in assets under management.

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Nynas entered reorganization in December 2019. At that time, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. owned a majority of the company and was under U.S. sanctions that forced Nynas to buy more expensive crude oil, which Nynas said caused its financial problems.

As part of the reorganization, Nynas underwent a number of ownership changes, including PdVSA reducing its share to 15% so Nynas could escape the consequences of the U.S. sanctions. The 35% of the company previously owned by PdVSA went to a foundation registered in the Netherlands called Nynasstiftelsen, while Dubai-based Bitumina purchased Neste’s share.

Davidson Kempner helped to restore Nynas’ balance sheet equity during the company’s financial restructuring and provided further financing afterward.

Nynas is one of the world’s largest suppliers of naphthenic base stocks. It operates two naphthenic base oil plants in Europe: a 400,000 metric tons per year facility in Nynashamn, Sweden, and a 330,000 t/y plant in Harburg, Germany. “We welcome Davidson Kempner as a shareholder in Nynas and look forward to the continued development of Nynas’ business with the strategic and strong financial backing that Davidson Kempner will contribute,” Nynas President and CEO Bo Askvik said in a press release issued July 26. “We are very satisfied with our strong trading result in the first half of 2021 and will continue to pursue our mission to deliver long-lasting, high-performance specialty products for sustainable use in our industry with the support of Davidson Kempner, who already is one of the largest financiers of the company.”

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