PNE Wind Plunges After Police Raid at Shareholder Meeting

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PNE Wind AG tumbled to its lowest in 2-1/2 years in Frankfurt trading after police raided the German clean-energy developer’s annual shareholder meeting.

The company fell 7 percent to 2.068 euros, the lowest price since December 2012. Police secured voting documents in the raid in Tuesday after allegations including that there had been tampering, Burkhard Vonnahme, a spokesman for prosecutors in the city of Stade, said Thursday by phone.

PNE isn’t aware of any investigations into the company, its management bodies or employees and is cooperating with police, the developer said in a statement. Two police officers arrived at the meeting after its close and “sealed the room where the votes were tabulated and collected some documents,” it said.

“We’re now investigating which allegations are valid and which aren’t,” Vonnahme said by phone. “This is in the very early stages, and it’s completely unclear if illegal activities took place. We have to be careful not to be instrumentalized by the different factions in the company.”

The company, which develops, operates and sells wind farms across Europe, has faced disputes between management led by Chief Executive Officer Martin Billhardt and supervisory board member Volker Friedrichsen. The board planned to remove Friedrichsen and two other members in a vote at the annual meeting, according to a company statement on May 6.

The results of voting on Tuesday couldn’t be announced before midnight local time because of extended discussions and procedural motions, and any claims PNE deliberately delayed the meeting are “baseless,” the company said in Thursday’s statement. Volker Friedrichsen Beteiligungs-GmbH, representing board member Friedrichsen, said in a separate e-mailed statement that the outcome was available at about 10:30 p.m.

PNE’s share price movement isn’t “reflecting the positive things happening at the company at the operating level,” said Scott McCollister, a PNE spokesman.

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