Vestas settles shareholder suit for $5M

DENVER – Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (OMX: VWS) has settled a lawsuit filed by shareholders in federal court in Denver for $5 million in cash.

The settlement resolves the class-action lawsuit filed by U.S. shareholders and is subject to court approval, Vestas said this week. A hearing on a final approval likely will be held by the end of the year or at the beginning of next year.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado contended that Vestas’ share price was inflated because of alleged misstatements and omissions related to the company’s accounting for supply-and-installation contracts.

The lawsuit, filed in March 2011 by the city of Sterling Heights General Employees’ Retirement System in Michigan, contended that Vestas board members and officers disseminated “materially false and misleading statements… in the company’s financial reports, press releases and during earnings and analyst conference calls.”

Vestas denied the allegations, saying its disclosures to the public “were appropriate at all times.” Vestas, however, believed that resolving the claims would end the substantial expenses, burdens and uncertainties associated with ongoing litigation.

“We look forward to putting this case behind us, which will allow us to continue our focus on the operation of the business to the benefit of our customers and our owners,” Vestas board Chairman Bert Nordberg said in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of shareholders who bought Vestas shares between Oct. 27, 2009, and Oct. 25, 2010.

Vestas operates four factories in Colorado, including one in Windsor, two in Brighton and one in Pueblo.

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