Business News in Brief: Has Facebook’s British sub-contractor been on the fiddle?

In contrast, everything is above board as Fujifilm and the Singaporean state investment arm line up huge deals on Danish soil

A report in the trade union publication Fagbladet 3F accuses a Facebook sub-contractor of underpaying foreign construction workers engaged in building the social media giant’s new 56,500 sqm data centre in Odense.

Additionally, as well as paying a rate below the industry standard, the British-owned subcontractor Tag og Facade DK is accused of using foreign bank accounts to take care of overtime, thus avoiding the need to pay the workers’ income tax.

Already taken one rap
Last year, Tag og Facade DK agreed to pay 6.8 million kroner in relation to underpaying 115 foreign workers.

In total it employed 278 employees (mostly from eastern Europe and the UK) to work on the site between August 2017 and December 2018

Bulgarian workers at centre of claims
Tag og Facade DK, which was founded in October 2016 by Andrew Colin Laing, was hired by the main contractor, Mace, another British company.

According to Fagbladet 3F, Bulgarian workers were employed to work a minimum of 210 hours each month, but their time sheets only documented 160 hours. At least one employee worked 40 consecutive days.

Singaporean state investment arm buying huge stake in Haldor Topsoe
Temasek, the Singaporean state investment arm, has signed a deal to buy a 30 percent stake in Haldor Topsoe, which values the Danish engineering firm at 9.9 billion kroner. Up until this point, the company has been 100 percent owned by the Topsoe family, who have told media that Temasek’s Asian connections will bring value to their company. Haldor Topsoe, which is one of the world’s leading industrial catalyst producers, employs around 2,300 people. It has been seeking a minority investor since last year to accelerate growth, with long-term plans to go public. Its financial advisers on the deal were SEB and Citi.

Biogen selling manufacturing plant in Hillerød to Fujifilm for billions 
US biotech company Biogen has agreed to sell a manufacturing plant in Hillerød to Fujifilm for 5.87 billion kroner. The site includes a biologics production facility, quality control labs, labelling and packing capability, and warehouses. The Japanese manufacturer is expected to take on the 800 employees who currently work at the plant. As part of the deal, Fujifilm will produce products for Biogen. Fujifilm expects to complete the acquisition by August.

German hotelier to open in central Copenhagen
25hotels, the German hotel group, is on the verge of signing a long-term lease deal with Hines to open up its first Danish location near the Round Tower on Købmagergade in the centre of Copenhagen, reports The refurbishment of the courtyarded building, which was formerly used by the University of Copenhagen, will be overseen by the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and BBP Arkitekter. The hotel will offer 243 rooms and reportedly open in 2021.

FSA issues money-laundering warning to Danish subsidiary
Following a routine inspection in March 2018, the Financial Supervisory Authority has issued a warning in relation to a Danish subsidiary of the Swedish bank SEB, which it claims runs an average-to-high risk of being used for money laundering. It recommends SEB Kort Bank should thoroughly vet its customers due to the “inherent risk of being misused for money-laundering or financing of terrorism”, as well as making sure it is in compliance with anti-money-laundering legislation.

New secondary home for EPL football in Denmark
There could be bad news for some TV viewers in Denmark, as the Discovery channel has missed out on renewing its secondary rights deal to show English Premier League games on its channel Kanal 6. The deal won’t affect YouSee subscribers though, as the telecom company will replace Discovery from next season with plans to show 116 games over the next three seasons on Xee, a joint-venture channel with Fox Networks Group that launched in January. The EPL rights belong to the Nordic Entertainment (Nent) Group, which broadcasts a more extensive range of games via Viasat whilst sub-licensing a package of non-exclusive games.

Good day on Copenhagen Stock Exchange
The Copenhagen Stock Exchange enjoyed a good day yesterday, with the OMX Copenhagen 20 finishing 0.62 percent up on the day at a six-month high. The oil & gas, financials, and personal and household goods sectors led the charge, with jewellery company Pandora top-performing with a 3.29 percent surge.

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.