Activist fund Enkraft presses renewables firm ABO Wind for clearer strategy


FRANKFURT, March 20 (Reuters) - Activist fund Enkraft, which owns stakes in several German energy firms, has criticised renewables group ABO Wind (AB9.DE), claiming the group failed to provide investors with a clear strategic roadmap.

Enkraft - which says it owns around 500,000 shares, or around 5%, of ABO Wind - also holds stakes in Energiekontor (EKTG.DE), PNE AG (PNEGn.DE) and Germany's largest utility RWE (RWEG.DE), where it lobbied for a spin off of the group's brown coal assets.

ABO Wind, which builds solar and wind farms and is currently valued at 682 million euros ($730 million), is majority-owned by the families of the group's two founders that together hold 52%. Utility Mainova (MNVG.F) holds another 10%.

The company trades in a segment of Germany's stock market with minimal requirements in terms of transparency.

"Compared to their competitors, but also to other listed companies, transparency declines significantly and is simply non-existent in some aspects," Enkraft said in a letter to ABO Wind's management dated March 17.

"Unfortunately, one cannot deduce from the company's communication whether a coherent strategy is being pursued at all."

Specifically, Enkraft criticised the way the company discloses information about its project pipeline, the lack of information about how the company picks sites for its projects and questions over the group's hydrogen strategy.

ABO Wind employs more than 1,000 employees and has so far developed and sold 5 gigawatts (GW) of renewables capacity since it was founded in 1996. It has a project pipeline of 21 GW and made net profit of 24.6 million euros in 2022, up 44% from 2021.

ABO Wind said it was in constructive talks with Enkraft and that it was always prepared to discuss corporate governance and transparency issues with investors, adding it was convinced that it already provided more information than legally required.

($1 = 0.9332 euros)

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Susan Fenton

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