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Questions linger over DONG and Sachs deal

DF and EL could derail DONG's deal with Goldman Sachs


Sources close to the negotiations have said that the Ministry of Finance was actually offered a more lucrative bid from the pension firm PensionDanmark (Photo: Scanpix)

January 17, 2014
21:07

by Christian Wenande


As parliament continues to discuss the impending agreement that will make US investment bank Goldman Sachs a part owner of state-owned energy providers DONG Energy, some startling revelations about the deal have trickled out.

Sources close to the negotiations told Information newspaper that the Finance Ministry was actually offered a bid from the pension firm PensionDanmark that was more lucrative than the one from Goldman Sachs.

Torben Möger Pedersen, the head of PensionDanmark, would not comment on claims that the pension firm made a bid that was higher in price per stock than Goldman Sachs, but the finance minister, Bjarne Corydon (S), maintains that the Goldman Sachs bid was the best overall.

“We can’t really discuss the other bids as they are confidential and market-sensitive information that can’t be revealed to the public,” Corydon said to Information. “But there should not be a shadow of a doubt that we accepted the best overall bid.”

READ MORE: Private investment in DONG Energy finalised

Deal smells fishy 
Several experts in energy finance have contended that DONG's stock is far more valuable than portrayed by the Goldman Sachs agreement, which has the investment firm purchasing eight billion kroner worth of DONG stock, while the investment firms ATP and PFA obtain stock for 2.2 billion and 800 million, respectively.

Concerns have also been raised about Goldman Sachs being given veto rights in any changes made to DONG's leadership and strategy, even though the investment bank is only set to become a minority owner with about 19 percent of stock.

The deal, which was first announced in October last year, will drop the state’s ownership in DONG down to around 60 percent – if it passes.

READ MORE: DONG secures eleven billion kroner investment

DF could pull the plug
Enhedslisten has announced that it will attempt to prolong the agreement process and Dansk Folkeparti (DF) has said it is not ready to make a decision on the Goldman Sachs deal.

“There are many mysterious things concerning the sale of DONG and things need to be brought to light before parliament’s finance committee makes a decision in the case,” Kristian Thulesen Dahl (DF) wrote on Facebook.

According to the Finance Ministry, the Goldman Sachs agreement is expected to be approved on Thursday of next week.



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