EDF, Morgan Stanley Paris Offices Raided in EnBW ProbeKarin Matussek
Electricite de France SA and Morgan Stanley’s Paris offices were raided as part of German prosecutors’ probe into the 4.7 billion-euro ($6.1 billion) repurchase of a stake in EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG.
The raids took place last week at the request of Stuttgart prosecutors who are investigating former Baden-Wuerttemberg state Prime Minister Stefan Mappus and Dirk Notheis, the former head of Morgan Stanley’s German business. EDF and Morgan Stanley aren’t targets in the case, prosecutors’ spokesman Jan Dietzel said by phone today.
“We call this ‘searches at third persons,’ meaning we are raiding places where we think there may be evidence,” Dietzel said. “You can raid premises of suspects, or of people who maybe are witnesses -- and the latter was the case here.”
The Stuttgart probe is looking at whether Mappus misused his power to authorize the state’s repurchase of a 45 percent stake in EnBW from EDF without involving legislators. Morgan Stanley advised the state government on the deal. Notheis left the bank shortly after the probe became public.
Baden-Wuerttemberg has also started arbitration over the price on the December 2010 stake purchase, which it claims was too high.
EDF and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, as did Wolf Schiller, Notheis’s attorney. Stephan Holthoff-Pfoertner, a lawyer for Mappus, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. Frank Mastiaux, EnBW’s chief executive officer, declined to comment.