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Leaked document: Goldman Sachs wasn't highest DONG bidder

As the finance minister faces parliamentary hearing today, a leaked document contradicts his previous claims

Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon (S) has been called to parliamentary council at 13.15 (Photo: Scanpix)

January 28, 2014

by Andreas Jakobsen

New information has changed the agenda ahead of today's parliamentary hearing in which Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon (S) will explain the details of the controversial partial sale of DONG Energy to US investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Despite what the government claims, pension fund PensionDanmark's bid for partial ownership of the state-owned energy company was higher than the bid Goldman Sachs offered, TV2 News reports.

A leaked note revealed that PensionDanmark estimated the stock capital of DONG shares to be 46 billion kroner, a 40 percent higher rate than the 32 billion kroner Goldman Sachs offered. 

READ MORE: Resistance to Goldman Sachs deal grows

On Thursday, parliament will vote on allowing Goldman Sachs to invest eight billion kroner in 19 percent of DONG shares. Critics of the sale are concerned with the investment bank's plans to establish its DONG Energy partial ownership in global tax havens, as well as conditions of the deal that give Goldman Sachs veto rights over the energy company's future direction and leadership. 

Document will create a stir
The leaked information may have consequences for Corydon, who confirmed this week that Goldman Sachs was the highest bidder, says TV2 Finans commentator Ole Krohn.

"The offer confirms that PensionDanmark had a serious bid that the finance minister could also have chosen, but PensionDanmark demanded warranty for the entire amount," Krohn told TV2 News.

"This is the first time we get to compare the offers. I'm sure it will create quite a stir."

READ MORE: Finance minister stands by Goldman Sachs deal

The Finance Ministry received the PensionDanmark offer on 19 June 2013, but declined in July. According to Krohn, the government wanted to continue with the Goldman Sachs business model.

Willing to make original offer
PensionDenmark wrote in the document that it is willing to give the offer again on the same conditions as originally demanded. 

The pension firm offered to invest eleven billion kroner in DONG Energy shares on the condition that the state would have to repurchase the shares if the company wasn't listed publicly in the near future.

"We have told [the ministry] that we are ready to take up negotiations again based on our original offer in case there's a wish to do so," the document concludes according to TV2 News.

Corydon's parliamentary hearing with the Finance Committee will be transmitted live at 13:15 on TV2 News and DR2.

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