Endúr boss fired after blunder: “A solid mistake”

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Heads roll after breach of terms on €100 million loan.

Shortly after the stock exchange closed on 31 August, it became known that the listed company Endúr, which owns, among others, the aquaculture suppliers Artec Aqua and Sjøsterk, had violated its loan conditions for a bond loan of €100 million.

Bergen-based Endúr stated that the company, “had become aware that the company as of 30 June 2021 was not in full compliance with the requirement under the bonds to maintain a loan-to-value ratio no greater than 4.75x.”

With immediate effect
The startling fact was that the company had not discovered this breach before. This quickly had consequences. On Thursday, it was announced that CEO Hans Olav Storkås was to leave with immediate effect.

“The company is not worse today than three days ago, but it was a huge mistake and a big mistake that neither the top manager nor the CFO discovered it,” said major shareholder Øivind Horpestad to E24.

Chairman of the board Pål Reiulf Olsen told E24 that Storkås has resigned because Endúr “stumbled in the reporting when it came to a technical breach of the loan agreement”.

“As is well known, we have broken loan terms. This is bad, something we discovered too late, and the main reason why it happened is a lack of administrative capacity within accounting reporting. Ultimately, it is his responsibility to keep the system in order. He admits that, and that is the reason why he is now resigning,” Olsen told Dagens Næringsliv.

Keeping order
Neither CEO Hans Olav Storkås nor CFO Lasse B. Kjelsås chose to comment on the statements.

Keeping track of loan terms is normally the job of the CFO, not the CEO.

Pål Reiulf Olsen is now taking on the role of working chairman of the board. Olsen and Kjelsås are old colleagues from the corporate finance department in the stock brokerage firm First Securities.

Endúr, formerly known as Bergen Group, was originally a shipyard group aimed at the offshore industry, but which has gradually turned towards the aquaculture industry.