Latvia, Legislation, Oil, Port, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 14.04.2021, 22:54

Swiss lawyer Meroni has gained control over Ventbunkers - newspaper

BC, Riga, 01.02.2019.Print version
Swiss lawyer Rudolf Meroni has gained control over Latvia’s Ventbunkers oil terminal, the daily newspaper Diena reports on Friday, reports LETA/BNS.

According to the Diena report, Austrian citizen Ursula Harrand, who is publicly known as Meroni’s accountant, has become the Latvian company’s sole beneficial owner.

“Thanks to the peculiarities of Latvian legislation, stock companies can afford to hide the names of their shareholders, and Ventbukers, which has not been filing annual reports for several years already, has also been using this option for more than a decade. However, two weeks ago the company’s management was finally forced to reveal the beneficial owners, and it turns out that that Austrian citizen Ursula Harrand, born in 1969, has now become the sole official owner of Ventbunkers,” the newspaper said.

According to the list of beneficial owners, Ventbunkers currently belongs to the Austria-registered IAG Industrieanlagen GesmbH and Eurocom International Ltd, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. Behand that company there are a number of other companies registered in Europe, Latvia and various offshores. They include London Industry Limited, Topmar Baltic Investments, Tomika International N.V. and Yelverton Investment B.V, among others. In all, four control chains of various lengths have been identified in the list of Ventbunkers’ owners, but they all lead to Harrand as the official beneficial owner.

In recent years, Harrand’s name has repeatedly featured in companies linked to Meroni, including accounting and consulting firm Perlogis GmbH, in which she is a partner, executive manager and accounting manager. Harrand, however, holds no position in Ventbunkers, the value of which is thought to be more than EUR 100 mln. Meroni chairs the Ventbunkers supervisory board and the company’s management consists of persons that have long been associated with the Swiss lawyer.

Ventbunkers, an oil product terminal based in the northwestern Latvian port of Ventspils, closed 2015 with EUR 58.581 mln in turnover, up 8.2 percent against 2014, while its profit contracted 47.6% to EUR 8.896 mln, according to the company's annual report available in Lursoft business database. This was the last year the company reported its financial results.

Ventbunkers, established in 1994, is one of the leading oil product transhipment terminals in the Freeport of Ventspils and deals with diesel fuel and fuel oil.

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