Fortum’s frustrated shareholders tested Fortum’s management and state representatives for several hours at the energy company’s extraordinary general meeting in Helsinki’s Kulttuuritalo on Wednesday.
The state investment company Solidiumin One of the conditions of the emergency loan granted to Fortum was that Fortum must raise the first installment of the loan by the end of September. Fortum said at the end of September that it had taken out a 350 million euro loan from Solidium.
Chairman of the Board of Suomen Sakesæstäätägi Karri Strait examined especially by the financial advisor May Strandbergia from the ownership steering department of the government office about why the financing conditions had to be made so strict that Fortum had to raise the loan installment by the end of September
“It doesn’t work for me to explain that Solidium needs to secure financing,” Salmi growled.
The same thing was also wondered in the second speech.
“It’s hard to understand that 350 million requires big arrangements, because of which the whole package had to be tied up by the end of September,” it was stated in the speech.
Stranberg said in his answer that the state has acted like a responsible owner, serving the interests of the company and all shareholders.
“The arrangement is based on market conditions and it was arranged on a critical schedule during the weekend,” he answered.
He justified the deadline of the end of September with the fact that the financing is bridge financing, which the state organized in the role of the owner. According to Strandberg, the state simultaneously organized a ten billion loan and guarantee program for the entire energy industry.
“The situation presented to us by Fortum was such that the bridge financing had to be put in place immediately,” he answered.
“It is not true that there were no other options”
CEO of Suomen Sakesävästätti Victor Snellman said in his speech, how the board and management have heard the claim at the general meeting that there was no other option.
“That is not true. It may be that they believe there were no better options. Other options would have been to issue shares to all shareholders, offer a loan instrument to all shareholders and so on,” commented Snellman.
“And there are still other options. For example, Solidium could offer these loan instruments to us shareholders in relation to share ownership, which means that we would practically finance this bridging financing through Solidium and we would also get shares as deal makers”, he suggests.