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Danish watchdog asks audit office to investigate DONG Energy IPO

A Danish political watchdog on Wednesday asked the national audit office to investigate the role of key parties involved in the share market flotation of offshore wind farm developer DONG Energy.

DONG Energy’s initial public offer (IPO) in June raised a gross 17 billion crowns ($2.6 billion) for the Danish state and a consortium of investors led by Goldman Sachs.

The sale meant the Wall Street bank doubled an 8 billion- crown investment made just two and a half years earlier, fuelling criticism in Denmark that the previous government sold an 18 percent stake to the Goldman consortium too cheaply.

The watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee, asked the audit office to investigate a wide range of issues related to the sale and subsequent IPO, including the role of the company’s management and the finance ministry in the valuation and sale of shares.

It also asked to look into DONG Energy’s dividend payout to Goldman Sachs and the Danish state since the flotation as well as the share price since the IPO on June 9.

“We look forward to an investigation from the national audit office shedding light on the facts and dismissing the myths and misunderstandings that have been put forward in the public debate,” DONG Energy Chief Executive Henrik Poulsen said in an email.

Goldman Sachs did not reply to questions sent by email.

Having built more than a quarter of the world’s offshore wind farms, DONG Energy is a major operator in Britain and Germany.

DONG Energy’s shares fell more than 1 percent on the news on Wednesday. ($1 = 6.6127 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Greg Mahlich)