Acciona Wind Summoned to Testify in Criminal Suit in Spainby
CEO Jose Blanco also required to testify in Spanish court
Judge rules suit by Inneo Torres has merit and should be heard
Acciona Windpower and its Chief Executive Officer Jose Luis Blanco have been ordered to testify in a criminal lawsuit against them over patents related to its wind turbines, potentially complicating a bid from Nordex SE to acquire the 785 million-euro ($853 million) company.
Two other company employees were also summoned to appear as witnesses in the suit at Spain’s National Court, according to a ruling on Jan. 19 by Judge Jose de la Mata Amaya. The judge decided that the lawsuit brought by a former supplier has merit and can move ahead, court documents show.
Calling the witnesses doesn’t mean that anybody has been formally accused, and it doesn’t imply that a criminal trial will be held, the judge said. The judge declined to name Acciona SA and its Chairman Jose Manuel Entrecanales as suspects.
Inneo Torres SL, a Spanish maker of concrete towers for wind energy projects that brought the complaint to the court, is targeting Acciona over intellectual copyright theft. It claims that Acciona breached contracts and stole intellectual property relating to how to make towers for wind turbines, according to a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in September 2014. Acciona Windpower is a unit of Acciona.
Nordex SE announced in October that it was buying Acciona Windpower from Acciona. As part of the deal, which has yet to be completed, a new company will be created. Blanco will serve as chief operating officer. Nordex is Germany’s largest wind turbine maker and the deal is its biggest ever.
Inneo’s claims have no basis and the judge’s order will not have any impact on the deal between Acciona and Nordex, a press officer for Acciona said by phone.