Deminor switches Vestas attack to directors

DENMARK: A lawsuit brought by disgruntled investors claiming damages for alleged false reporting at Vestas will now be directed solely at individuals, rather than at the turbine manufacturer.

Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel is among those being targeted by Deminor
Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel is among those being targeted by Deminor

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Deminor Recovery Services, a law firm representing 87 shareholders, has also lowered the figure it is claiming in damages from DKK 300 million (EUR 40 million) to DKK 80 million (EUR 11 million).

However, Deminor holds that this figure could be increased at any point during the case, with partner Erik Bomans saying that the amount is "just an initial claim".

Deminor is basing its claim on a lawsuit initiated in the US in March 2011 by a pension fund that claimed Vestas issued false information regarding its revenue and earnings. The claimants believe this has affected share-price performance.

The suit will now target CEO Ditlev Engel, former chairman Bent Erik Carlsen and former chief financial officer Henrik Nørremark.

While Vestas is not at present mentioned as a co-defendant, the firm will still act to defend all of those named in the case. This includes Nørremark, with whom the company is embroiled in legal wranglings after he was fired over unsanctioned deals in India.

Since a number of the claimants are still shareholders in the company, Deminor has chosen to go after  individuals, which it believes will be sufficiently protected by Vestas' insurance to cover the claim.

Earlier this month, Vestas revealed Deminor had informed it of an impending lawsuit against the company and ten past and present directors, if the EUR 40 million was not paid.

Earlier this year, an attempt by Deminor to force Vestas to appoint a scrutiniser to examine recent business decisions by the board was voted down at the company's AGM by 89.5% of shareholders.

Vestas said in a statement that it had reviewed the claim with its advisers, and still believed that the claim is without merit.

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