Vestas report former financial head to police

Questionable dealings with Indian partner cost wind turbine giant 140 million kroner

A dispute between wind turbine maker Vestas and its former financial head, Henrik Nørremark, is now in the hands of the public prosecutor for economic and international crime, Statsadvokaten for Særlig Økonomisk og International Kriminalitet, more commonly known as the financial police.

The case hinges on Nørremark’s relationship with a Vestas partner in India. Nørremark is accused of making decisions that he was not empowered to make that cost the company 140 million kroner.

Police have started their investigation, speaking to senior mangers, employees and Vestas's CEO, Ditlev Engel.

The company said that it intends to hold Nørremark financially responsible if he is found culpable for costing the company money.

"The Vestas board wants every part of this case scrutinized, and we want the missing money back,” Vestas's board chairman, Bert Nordberg, said in a statement. “We first had external lawyers and accountants carry out an extensive investigation that showed that the board and the head of the company were not involved in or aware of these transactions.”

The statement said that the independent investigation was unable to discover where the missing money was spent, prompting the company to turn the matter over to the financial police. 

Nørremark allegedly entered into agreements with Indian partners who forgave debts of 33 million kroner and invested more than 107 million kroner in a project in India.

The huge investment was far more than Nørremark was allowed to make, according to company spokesperson Morton Albæk, who said that any expenditure that large was subject to approval by Engel and others.

Both the board and Engel deny knowing the details of the India deal.

Nørremark’s lawyer declined comment on the case but said that he was not surprised that it had been turned over to the police.

Nørremark has previously said through his lawyer that he belived that providing the debt relief was within his powers and that the remaining funds were lost in India on purchasing and developing land for a wind farm project that did not materialize.

Nørremark was fired in early 2012. In October of that year, Vestas announced that it had ceased payment of Nørremark’s severance package as a result of the allegations against him.