* Call for probe into accounting and revenue guidance
* Vestas recommends shareholders vote against request
* Shareholders could consider compensation claim
By Teis Jensen and Mia Shanley
COPENHAGEN, Jan 14 A group of more than 100
Vestas shareholders is pressing for an independent
investigation and possible compensation for the wind turbine
manufacturer's plummeting share price.
The move puts shareholders on a collision course with the
company, which says that fresh investigations into its
performance in recent years would be an unnecessary distraction.
The world's biggest wind turbine manufacturer has struggled
in a sector suffering from overcapacity, a weak global economy
and a reduction in subsidies for renewable energy production by
It has axed jobs, stopped non-profitable projects, shut
factories and sought new lines of credit to get through the
Deminor Recovery Services, which says it represents the
interests of 105 institutional investors from Europe, the United
States and Asia, has asked that an independent auditor
investigate events leading up to several profit warnings by
Vestas and whether the company was overly optimistic on its
"These investors are not satisfied with the company's
performance," Erik Bomans, a managing partner at Deminor, told
"First of all, they want to know whether it is possible to
recover some of those losses if this really went wrong.
Secondly, they want the company to perform better in the future
... Because our clients are of the opinion that the company did
not correctly communicate with investors over the past couple of
Deminor said that it also wants clarification about the
resignations of former Chief Financial Officer Henrik Norremark
and Investor Relations Officer Peter Kruse.
Shares in Vestas, battling to restore investor confidence
after profit warnings in 2011 and 2012, remain down about 95
percent from their highs of 2008.
Bomans declined to reveal the percentage of Vestas shares
that Deminor's clients hold, but he said that he believed the
request would gain a majority of votes at the AGM scheduled for
Vestas said in a statement that the board of directors
recommends that shareholders vote against the request, saying
that it concerns issues that have already been reviewed fully or
are otherwise being investigated by the board.
"Additional investigations will be unnecessary and only
obstruct the work of the board and impose needless costs on the
company," it said.
Asked whether investors could use the results of any
investigation to take legal action against the company, Bomans
said: "It is a possibility. But the main objective of this
request is to get the information and to help the company to
improve its governance."
Vestas shares were down 6.6 percent at 1205 GMT, compared
with a broadly unchanged top-20 Copenhagen market index
Jacob Pedersen, an analyst at Sydbank, said the news of the
request had added to uncertainties surrounding the shares.
"I cannot rule out the scrutiny being carried by the
majority when I hear how many big investors are behind this," he
(Additional reporting by Kristian Mortensen; Editing by David