Opposition parties want inquiry into Nuon deal

The Social Democrats and the Green Party have demanded that an independent commission investigate state-owned Vattenfall's loss-making takeover of Nuon and bring clarity to "the potentially worst deal in Swedish business history".

Opposition parties want inquiry into Nuon deal

Writing in newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), Magdalena Andersson och Per Bolund, economic policy spokespersons for the Social Democrats and the Greens respectively, suggested that there are still too many unknowns surrounding the deal and that the politicians involved must answer questions about how it was struck.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and other party leaders approved the state-owned power company Vattenfall’s purchase of the Dutch utility company Nuon in 2009, despite having been informed that it was a bad deal, Andersson and Bolund claimed.

“All companies – as well as governments – make bad deals sometimes. But what separates a professional handling from an amateur one is that you carefully investigate what went wrong,” the opposition party politicians said.

“Were those responsible, including the government, fully informed and if not, then why not? In order to avoid repeating mistakes it is essential to clarify who is responsible within the government for large business deals,” Andersson and Bolund argued in SvD.

The government has come under heavy criticism for approving the 2009 deal, in which the Swedish energy giant Vattenfall took over Nuon to the cost of 97billion kronor ($15billion).

It soon transpired that Nuon had been overvalued. So far, the friendly takeover has involved a 15billion kronor loss for Vattenfall. In April it was announced that the company would be marked down further.

“We believe it is time to appoint a commission in order to once and for all put all the cards on the table in this deal, which is so important for Sweden’s economy and for the possibility to use Vattenfall in a green conversion,” said Andersson and Bolund.

They added that the commission should be independent and transparent.

TT/The Local/nr

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