Dong talks to minister over finance options

Dong Energy has confirmed it is in talks with its main owner – Denmark’s government – over ways to bolster its finances.

Reports in Denmark suggest Dong – the world’s biggest offshore wind operator – needs funds to help meet its considerable future ambitions in the sector, with the state and private investors being considered as possible sources.

The dialogue with the government is over “possible initiatives aimed at strengthening its capital structure, including a potential injection of equity”, the company says in a statement.

“The strengthening of the capital structure is to contribute to the development of the group’s profitable core areas,” says the Dong statement, adding that discussions with the Ministry of Finance are ongoing.

The statement was released after Danish newspaper Weekendavisen reported that minister of finance Bjarne Corydon held a top-secret meeting on Wednesday, informing representatives from other parties that Dong Energy is in need of a capital injection from the state.

The Danish state owns 80% of Dong Energy.

Weekendavisen says Dong itself has estimated that it needs DKr14bn ($2.5bn), quoting several sources. The paper also writes that the minister got the go-ahead at the meeting to assist Dong, although it is believed that the amount will be somewhat lower than that requested.

Reports say Dong needs funds because its plan to divest non-core activities to the tune of DKr10bn is progressing more slowly than anticipated.

The first divestment – three Polish onshore wind parks – was agreed this week at a total price of DKr1.8bn.

Denmark’s  TV2 News reports this morning that Dong is trying to raise DKr10-15bn and will use some of the money to further strengthen its leading position within offshore wind.

The private capital could come from pension funds or through a listing on the stock exchange, according to TV2 News.

The group releases its full-year report on 27 February and will at the same time publish its new strategy. Dong says it will then “provide further information on its deliberations.”