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The Serial Billionaire

Knut Gjernes and Goran Skaalmo

19 August 2016

Jostein Eikeland left Norway with a tax bill of over 100 million. His new project, a mysterious energy
company, is valued at around 13 billion before it has delivered a single product. Eikeland is again
billionaire on paper.

One winter day in 2011 the anonymous drug lord walks into the lobby of the grand W Hotel on Miami
Beach USA. Gjermund Cappelen is on vacation, but is interested in the possibility of investing the
proceeds of his drugs trafficking. At the W he meets Norwegian businessman Jostein Eikeland, who
has travelled down the coast from his house in Boca Raton. Eikeland presents his new idea. He is
trying to ensure the right to a battery technology that can be used to create great values. His plans to
establish Alevo Group, was beginning to take shape.
When the drug lord was arrested Christmas 2013, Cappelens drug millions had dissipated in the winter
darkness. The only thing value the police have found in Cappelens drug empire, are the 14,000 shares
in a Swiss company: Alevo Group.

It is October 28, 2014 and the opening of the battery factory Swiss company Alevo Group has
established in the United States.

A space rocket has just soared aloft on the big screen in the former tobacco factory. Symbolic images
with men in white lab coats pointing thoughtfully at industrial high voltage pylons, before Jostein
Eikeland rises out into the light to the pure tones of Edvard Grieg's "Morning Mood".

- This is for you, he says, and claps his hands.

- Today is a great day for the city of Concord, for the state of North Carolina, USA and - of course -
for the rest of the world.

Jostein Eikeland is glowing.

- We will create lots of jobs here. We will take all the energy that people produce, capture it lost on the
road, and injecting it into the net again. We can reduce energy costs.

It is the former data entrepreneur Jostein Eikeland's resurgence. He has been a billionaire on paper
before. Now, his visions are even more groundbreaking, the future even more rosy and technology
even more ingenious. Can he succeed this time?


Jostein Eikeland's former perhaps best known as the founder of TeleComputing back in the 1990s. The
IT company was valued at 13 billion kroner at the Oslo Stock Exchange, before the bubble burst and
the price fell by over 90 percent overnight.
Eikelands billion fortune was washed out with the leftovers, while brokers and banks were left with
the dishes.
Since then Eikeland has lived a nomadic life in Norway, Switzerland and the United States, often with
a tail of creditors and angry investors chasing him.
But now he is back, as the savior of the small community Concord.
Gov. Pat McCrory takes the stage in the endless industrial premises, full of admiration for the
Norwegian entrepreneur:
- What a day! And when I came in here today, I got a huge bear hug by Jostein. It's as if I've known
him all my life, says the governor from the rostrum.
Now he hopes that Eikeland will change the future of the industry in North Carolina.

Tobacco Factory

There was a big commotion in the small town of Concord outside Charlotte in North Carolina when
the old tobacco factory Philip Morris was bought by Alevo for a staggering $ 68.5 million, over half a
billion kroner in 2014. The case received wide coverage in the media, and both the Guardian,
Bloomberg and the Financial Times reported that Alevo plant would employ 2,500 people within three
years. Afterwards Alevo has quietly sold the factory they bought, and now only rents the huge factory

Acting I stealth mode, Jostein Eikeland has started a new chapter in his life as a businessman.
Through tax haven companies in the British Virgin Islands Eikeland has gained control of technology
from a bankrupt German battery company. The rights were bought for small change. Now Eikeland
has unveiled the battery project as a glittering billion adventure.
Batteries big as containers will capture the energy that can be stored and moved around the grid. This
way he will create thousands of jobs in the outskirts of the American metropolis Charlotte, where
tobacco giant Philip Morris, leaving a wasteland of unemployed when they closed and went.
Alevo Group was registered in a small village in the mountains of Switzerland. But the story begins in
sunny Florida.

Top Secret
The main street through the center of Boca Raton is surrounded by tall palm trees. It's 30 degrees in
the shade, but dark clouds are heading inland Florida this day in late March this year.
We are looking for Alevos headquarters in the United States, and find it on the second floor of a
shopping mall in Mizner Park. Here we find Alevo Group founder, owner and chairman Jostein
Eikeland's office.
The premises are sparsely decorated. A powerful, blond Norwegians comes out from a conference
room. He is angry, red-faced and have rolled up the sleeves on his pink shirt.

- Why have you come here? We have nothing to say to you.

Petter Wessel Bjrnstad is Vice President of Alevo and responsible for technology. As Eikeland
perhaps most trusted assistant over the past 15 years he has a turbulent business past behind him, a
number of companies that are either bankrupt or been forcibly dissolved.
- This is a satellite office. Our headquarters are in Switzerland, said the Norwegian.
This is the end stop for the flow of money from investors who have bet on Eikelands battery
adventures. Here several of the founder's personal companies are registered. Eikeland, however, is
apparently nowhere.
- Where exactly is Eikeland?
No answer.
A week later DN receives a threatening letter from a lawyer in Miami. Alevo threatens to sue and
report DN to the police for "trespassing" - intrusion on private property - after the visit to Alevos
headquarters. Appropriate punishment is five years in prison or fines in the millions, according to the

"The Holy Grail"

There is huge mystery surrounding Alevos battery technology. Although the company believes that it
has discovered "The Holy Grail" in battery technology - an eternity battery that has no downside.
With super fast response, high capacity and long life, Alevo promises to surpass even big and
reputable players like Tesla, LG, Samsung and AES.
Thousands of small batteries will be assembled in container sized battery packs, called "Grid Bank"
that can be used to streamline the entire electricity grid and to store energy from renewable sources.
Storage of energy from renewable sources, is seen as key to freeing the world from the use of fossil
fuels. Therefore, everyone from big battery companies to US energy department have researched for
years to find methods that work. Now Jostein Eikeland argue that Alevo has found a unique
technology, which is "unique and unequalled in terms of safety and long life."
The secret - the "secret sauce" is described as an electrolyte that does not get hot when charging the
battery, and can never catch fire or explode.
In a company presentation Alevo describes it as follows: "Proprietary rights and" black box
technology "ensures Alevos proprietary" secret sauce. "
The whole thing is so secret that the company has never showed a single functioning Grid Bank to the
public. Neither has the company showed tests or independent research showing that the technology
really works the way it is presented.
An important document Alevo use to convince investors, the 19-page report from the consulting firm
Accenture, is based solely on data the consulting firm got from Alevo.
So far the market must rely on Alevos own claims. And the real data is guarded like state secrets.
- One hand should not know what the other is doing, says the former PR man and now director of
Alevo, Eric Cameron.
- We have a factory in Switzerland that makes the "secret sauce" and one in the US that assembles
batteries. No one knows the full picture, he says.
He tells about how a delegation led by Eikeland was stopped at the door of the factory.

- Not even Jostein Eikeland is let in at the factory in Switzerland. And he is the chairman, Mr
Cameron said almost a little proud.
What happens inside the black box only a few know.
Equally opaque is its corporate structure.

A maze
Alevo Group SA is registered in a small village in the mountains outside Geneva, while its US
subsidiary Alevo Inc is registered in the secretive state of Delaware. None of them files public
accounts or who are investors in the company.
But large flows of money do not necessarily go to Switzerland or the United States. Instead, a large
amount of money to Alevo has been sent directly to Jostein Eikeland's personal company on Tortola in
the British Virgin Islands: Clydemont Finance Ltd.
This is where Norwegian investors, like Gjermund Cappelen, sent large sums of money as loans to
Jostein Eikeland.
According to a confirmation from the auditor, Ernst & Young in Drammen, 16 investors sent totaling
$ 33 million to Tortola, as loans to Eikeland, even before Alevo was created.
As repayment, they have received a small share of Eikeland shares in Alevo.
Where did this money go?
Some of it was used to invest in shares of the company that developed Alevos battery technology,
fortu Powercell.

But the rest, some 200 million kroner?

- They are used for salaries, development and other current operating expenses in the initial period,
says Eikeland's lawyer, Kyrre Eggen law firm CLP, in a statement to DN.
Neither Eikeland or Alevo offer any documentation on this. Not even Alevos shareholders receive full
access to the company's spending.
Who are the shareholders?
- It is not public, says director Eric Cameron.
- You may be able to give us the top ten?
- Sorry. That's Swiss secrecy.

The mentor
A silver Jaguar is parked in the yard at the farm outside Oslo.

A dignified man in his early 70s on the steps. The gray hair is backward and the light blue shirt is

Per-Erik Bjertns shows the way into the living room. From the ceiling hangs an enormous
chandelier, the furnishings are gold-painted, over the sofa hangs a leopard skin, a gift from the
president of Mozambique, Samora Machel.
Bjertns was a successful financier based in Switzerland with good contacts throughout the world,
especially in Saudi Arabia.
- Jostein was like a son to me, he says.

In the early 90s Bjertns had a personal bankruptcy in Norway and needed a person who could front
his business. The choice fell on Jostein Eikeland who was then 25 years.
- First, I appointed him, later we were partners. We were together almost every day for 13 years, says
Bjertns helped Eikeland obtain the initial money to his first major project, TeleComputing.
- He was a voracious boy. I shaped him, and taught him everything I could.
Bjertns' recipe for success was a financing system he himself had developed. He called it "Cashba"
to "cash and barter." It's about selling the goods and services in advance, and use the proceeds to build
up the company. How he learned Eikeland how a small company can be huge in a short time.
- One method is to issue as many as possible of shares at the lowest price, says Bjertns.
- Then you must control the majority of shares. Control of the company is important, because then you
can set the value of the shares to get access to capital.
Alevos 14,000,000 shares denominated 0.01 Swiss francs.
In the past, these sold to investors for 120 francs. So 12,000 times its face value.
- It's all about getting money in, but pay mostly with shares. Thus the money stays where they should
be, namely in your pocket.
Bjertns chuckles.
- It's easy to keep a project going as long as there is money in circulation. Once the money missing, the
company will go bankrupt or be forcibly dissolved. Along the way, you still have earned a lot of
money, says Bjertns.
- This is not illegal, but it can be abused. Jostein has previously shown that he is both too impatient
and too greedy.
Later, the relationship between the two turned sour. Bjertns says he has lost a hundred million kroner
on Jostein Eikelands projects. One case was investigated by Swedish finance squad, but ended up
being shelved.
- I documented facing Ekobrott that I had not done anything that was illegal, Jostein Eikeland writes to
Bjertns glances out the window. His health is failing. He is bitter at his former partner.
- To understand how Jostein Eikeland operates, then you need to talk to the man who had the idea
behind Tonsberg Magnesium Group.

Magnesium Plant

I found a way to cast magnesium that was faster and cheaper than the traditional one. Nobody
believed we could do it, but we could, says Ulf Foldvik, the engineer who was involved in starting
Tonsberg Magnesium Group.

Foldvik wanted to revolutionize the magnesium industry. Jostein Eikeland was interested and lined up
with the money. They started TMGI on the site of the ancient Tonsberg Pres Foundry, and soon they
were aiming for the sky.

He honked our ears full of big plans and how we'd be millionaires, says the engineer.

Eikeland's longtime partner Petter Wessel Bjrnstad was chief of the company. While production
director Foldvik and the people in Tonsberg worked to build factory and assemble molds, Eikeland
traveled the world to boast about it.

It cost him nothing to stand on a stage in the US and praise the technology, but really he understood
nothing of it, says Foldvik.

Soon the carousel of shares spun wildly, and the company was valued at two billion kroner. The
Magnesium Production was not doing quite so well.

We had orders and assignments in spades, but failed to deliver on any of it. Eikeland had spent the
money on something else, says Foldvik. But where have you Jostein, he runs so fast that nothing
hangs together.

Eikeland had partly bought up factories in Mexico and Poland. Foldvik says he was not even
informed. In Tnsberg the mood was deteriorating. The staff did not get paid and there was no money
to finish anything.

Meanwhile, Eikeland bought a beach villa on Nttery, at a record price, while Petter Wessel
Bjrnstad drove around in his Jaguar.

Every time money came in from investors, heavy demands from the circle around Jostein appeared,
which had to be covered, says Torstein Hallaraker, who was hired as financial controller in TMGI.
Eventually he got a bad taste in his mouth.
- It happened so much. I could not be involved in things like that. So I quit, the former internal auditor.
Eikeland writes via his lawyer, Kyrre Eggen, that he does not recognize the claims of its former
- The financing was a big challenge when we got larger orders than we could deliver on. In the same
period material cost moved so much that it made it very difficult to find financing. This resulted in
cramped economy, says Eikeland about this period.
Jostein Eikeland disagree with the statement that he and his team TMGI spent the money on other
things than the company:
- Not beyond what we at the time thought was best for the company, he writes today.
In 2007, the concern for TMGI spread. In Swedish media ever new accusations of disorderly stock
trading and price manipulation in the company showed up. The share price collapsed and a billion
values disappeared at great speed. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority examined stock
trading in the company, but no one was prosecuted.

High Stakes
In May 2008, the TMGI went bankrupt with over 300 million in uncovered liabilities.
Eikeland had still got money out of TMGI for the purchase of "technical rights", and shares in a Polish
company, according to the liquidators.
The Swedish trustee Claes Gran Westerberg found that SEK 46 million was paid to Eikeland
company in Switzerland, Estatia AG, prior to the bankruptcy.
- It may be noted that the company did not get any visible quid pro quo for these payments, writes
trustee Westerberg in his statement.
The transfers were made by CEO Petter Wessel Bjrnstad, behind the back of the board TMGI.
- The money was paid by me on instructions from the company's chairman Jostein Eikeland. Such
offsets were shares NTP, says Bjrnstad.
Nevertheless: Soon also Eikelands company Estatia AG went bankrupt.

The Swedish Carnegie Investment Bank went bankrupt in the wake of TMGI collapse. Partly as a
result of the loss of hundreds of million that was lent to TMGI.

The Battlefield
Carnegie's lawyers went a hunting in the Norwegian archipelago in the wake of the bankruptcy.
Eikeland 22-million villa in Nttery was forcibly sold, as were Eikeland's private island, Trond
Island, in Blindleia.
The bank hunted desperately for assets that could cover up for the losses, but the recovery of the debt
was not so easy. Several banks had collateral in properties, brokerage Platou had pledged 20 million
after Eikeland had unsettled share trades, and DNB had pledged 25 million after Eikeland on two
occasions got millions into the account by "wrong transfers."
Eikeland informs DN that both lawsuits were settled or settled.
After all bankruptcies were Eikeland apparently stripped of values when he left Norway.
Behind him there was a battleground of foreclosures, bankruptcies and frustrated investors.

A mysterious shareholding
Shortly after meeting with drug lord Gjermund Cappelen in Miami in 2011, appeared Eikeland up at
the German battery researcher Gnther Hambitzer.
Hambitzer had researched almost all of his adult life on a battery technology that was groundbreaking.
Under Hambitzers management had fortu made a small battery that could be recharged 50,000 times
without losing power, and who does not overheat when charging.
- The technology works. Taking it up to commercial size and mass production is the complicated part,
says Hambitzer.
Ten doctorates are taken on the project, which has been case study at Harvard. Hambitzers patents and
rights were incorporated into the company fortu Power Cell, but now shareholders were battling.
Jostein Eikeland said he would help Hambitzer on.
A letter from DLA Piper, one of the largest law firms, produced Eikeland as if he controlled values for
over a billion kroner in tax haven British Virgin Islands.

The letter from DLA Piper

- I got a lawyer confirmation from DLA Piper. There goes attorney Eide good that Eikeland has billion
values, says Hambitzer.
The note marked "strictly private and confidential", and "by hand only," were issued by the law firm
DLA Piper.
"Based on the information made available to me through my work for Clyde Mont Finance Ltd, I
estimate that the net liquid assets in Clyde Mont Finance Ltd and other companies controlled by Mr.
Jostein Eikeland, exceed 150-200 million euros," wrote DLA-lawyer Tord Eide of note in April 2011.
Based on assurances from DLA Piper entered Hambitzer an agreement to hand over majority
shareholding in fortu Powercell Clyde Mont Finance Ltd, a company Jostein Eikeland had established
in the British Virgin Islands.

With Eikeland as main shareholder fortu however quickly went bankrupt.

"The company is in a liquidity crisis, caused by Alevos failure to pay its share of the convertible loan,
despite repeated promises," according to a letter to shareholders in fortu.

Fortu was funded with half a billion kroner from investors, including one of the largest venture funds,
Kleiner Perkins. But now the coffers were empty. Fortu went bankrupt.
Eikeland secured the patent rights of battery technology on the cheap from the bankruptcy estate, for
only 350,000 euros.

Eikeland now went under the radar for several years, before the autumn 2014, when he suddenly
appeared on stage in a factory in North Carolina, as battery entrepreneur.

Tobacco Factory
The old tobacco factory outside Concord in North Carolina had been empty since 2009. In October
2014 news was announced that got the local community and authorities to cheer, the giant factory of
3.5 million square meters, was finally sold.
The company Victory Industrial Park LLC with addresses in Boca Raton, Florida, had signed the
purchase contract, but only half a year later it became known that it was the Norwegian financier
Jostein Eikeland and his battery company Alevo Group who had turned their hands on the huge
property. The price of the factory was $ 68.5 million or about 500 million.
"Alevo will create 500 jobs over the next 12 months, 2500 over the next three years, and eventually
employ 6,000 workers," it was said in the local press.
Anonymous Swiss investors would use one billion US dollars to create life in the abandoned factory.
But even before Alevo Group SA was established in Switzerland in summer 2012, Eikeland had
quietly begun work on raising capital in Norway through a law office at DLA Piper in Oslo.

A pyramid and a money collector

In DLA Piper achieved Eikeland highly trusted business lawyer for many years, Tord Eide, that
several dozen million was received by the DLA Piper client account, and was relayed to Eikeland
company in the Virgin Islands.
Late summer 2011 money from Asia arrived at DLA Piper client account in Norway. The sender was
pyramid company Unaico in Hong Kong, but the money came in batches from several senders.
Unaico is a pyramid that operated in the Far East and Eastern Europe, and was run by Norwegians.
The authorities in several countries have warned that the pyramid is illegal, among them Slovenia,
Sweden, China and Pakistan. Documents shows that five million euros were transferred from Unaico
tp Clyde Mont via DLA Piper client account. For this loan the pyramid would receive 12 percent
interest until the loan was converted into shares.
- It was full transparency about Unaico being the lender, writes lawyer Kyrre Eggen in an email to
DN. He represents both Alevo Group and Jostein Eikeland personally.
In a complicated agreements all back payments from Eikeland should go to a shell company in
England, and not the controversial pyramid. Thus, shares worth several dozen million were issued to
an empty company in England. Through four layers of intermediaries and nominees and proxies, it
becomes almost impossible to trace where the money really moves.
- My short comment is "no comment," writes pyramid exec Rune Evensen to DN.
He signed the loan agreement between Unaico and Jostein Eikeland.

Eikeland's lawyer, Kyrre Eggen writes DN that Unaico is a "Multi level marketing firm," and there are
no grounds to assert that money should have been checked with regard to money laundering.
- The Company had none of pyramid companies' characteristics, type Eggen in an email.
DLA Piper will not comment on payments.
- Issues related to possible money laundering of funds related to specific transactions for current and
former clients mandatory confidentiality apply, says head of DLA Piper in Norway, Johan Ratvik to

Another Norwegian company that owns a large stake in Alevo, the company Cavaletto. DN
documentation shows that Cavaletto own shares today are worth as much as 50 million.
The company was previously owned by Dag Verner Eriksen, a man with no income or wealth, but
convictions including fraud and corruption. He has also been involved in several bankruptcies. But he
is probably most known as money collector. The company is currently owned by his partner.
Eikeland argues the shares stem from a loan repayment to his partner about two million:
- In return she received these shares from Eikeland, writes lawyer Eggen.
Eriksen's partner did not want to talk to DN.
- No comment, is all Verner Eriksen will say about the shareholding in Alevo.
At least two other people, who today are imprisoned for serious crimes, has controlled shares in
Alevo, either as part of complex loan arrangements or barter. Much of this took place with internal
transfers in DNB's bank depot.
- Alevo is not aware of the trades on DNB depot, writes lawyer Kyrre Eggen to DN.

Drugs and shares

It was winter in Norway when Gjermund Cappelen checked into the Philippe Starck hotel Delano in
South Beach.
This was the first time Cappelen and Eikeland met, but through a common acquaintance Eikeland had
already borrowed money from the drug lord. Cappelen has previously been an investor in Eikeland's
magnesium business TMGI.
Also present were Alevo-President and Investor Relations Hans Othar Blix. Blix said he did not know
- I thought he was a real estate investor, he was mostly just quiet and listened, says Blix about the
meeting with Cappelen in Miami.
But after the meeting at the W Hotel the economic cooperation got new legs to walk on. More
monetary transactions flew across the Atlantic between Eikeland and Cappelen. Right after the
meeting at the Hotel W Eikeland borrowed 400.000 kroner from Cappelen. And in the spring it goes
1.8 million other way - from Eikeland to Cappelen.
An increasing number of transactions happened, in complicated detours, making it difficult to see who
is the origin of the money.
All transactions went through the law firm DLA Piper.
Should not laundering alarm have gone long ago?
- We can not comment on such matters, says Ratvik in DLA.

The spider
Berg jail, outside Tnsberg.
- It was I who brought Cappelen and Eikeland together in Miami. That's right, says Paul Gruben.
- We had a meeting where Eikeland and Blix presented the company, says Gruben.
The man who introduced serial entrepreneur and financier Jostein Eikeland with drug lord Gjermund
Cappelen is serving a sentence for money laundering of 24 million.
Having become filthy rich on Jostein Eikeland TeleComputing, Gruben quit his job as CIO in DNB
Markets, and became an ally of Eikeland.
- Since then, I have primarily worked to get investors and money Eikeland projects, he said.
Some years later Paul Gruben became familiar with Gjermund Cappelen. Eventually also began the
collaboration, where Paul Gruben operated as a kind of financial manager for Cappelen. This went
thus parallel to that he helped Eikeland to raise money for various projects.
Alevo and Eikeland lawyer Kyrre Eggen denied first all knowledge of Gruben, but in a later email to
DN informs Alevo that Gruben did work for Eikeland and his company Clyde Mont:
- They were just individual projects that were made in a period that is several years back.

Strict Procedures
Years after Jostein Eikeland and Gjermund Cappelen met in Miami, the drug lord became a
shareholder in Alevo. Cappelen had 14,498 shares, and based on the official exchange rate, these were
worth about six million kroner at the time.
According to Eikeland's lawyer, Kyrre Eggen law firm CLP, the shares were paid through a series of
complicated offsets between Eikeland, Cappelen and Swedish porn king Berth Milton.
Milton disagrees

- I've never owed Cappelen any money, so the triangle operation appears to me that a financial ploy to
launder drug money, says Berth Milton to DN.

However - 14,498 shares went right into Cappelens white economy, and some were transferred to his
corporation Gecco Property as beautifully laundered assets.
Attorney Eggen says Eikeland did not know Cappelen was drug smuggler.
- There is therefore no basis for any allegation that Alevo or Eikeland has contributed to money
laundering, writes Eggen.
Eikeland was relying on the opinions of DLA Piper.
- We have probably the most stringent industry practices regarding laundering control, said DLA
Piper's general manager, Johan Ratvik to DN.

- Neither Jostein Eikeland or anyone else in Alevo knew I was doing hashish imports, says Cappelen
through his lawyer Benedict de Vibe.
- Gjermund Cappelen want to apologize for the problems he has created for Jostein Eikeland and
Alevo, says the Vibe.
Former DLA lawyer Tord Eide confirms that he has been interrogated and given information to the
police in Cappelen case.
Now the shares in Alevo are seized by police as proceeds of crime Cappelens.

Two Folders
The highway winds its way up the Swiss Alps from the end of Lake Geneva. If one looks closely, one
can see the small town of Saint Maurice pass, a tiny center with a grocery store and a bakery serving
the 4,000 inhabitants. Here is the company register for the lower part of Valais Valley.
The Office lady showing the way to the archive room, bursting with folders with paper documents.
Digitization has not reached Saint Maurice.
- Oh yes, Alevo Group. That we know well, she says, laughing, and drag two thick folders off the
The folders contains detailed documentation that Alevo acquires millions in money from the gray-
haired elite of wealthy retiree ghettos Crans Montana and Lausanne.
Most documents are signed by a Norwegian, the former lawyer Ola Toftegaard-Hox.
"I'm not the general manager of Alevo Norway. Nor am I on the Board. Further inquiries from you
will not be answered. "He writes in an sms to DN.
After Paul Gruben was helping to fund the startup of Alevo, the company has in recent years sold
millions of shares to wealthy, aging investors in Switzerland.
Eikeland and his aides have chosen to collect money as loans, which are then converted into shares at
steadily increasing prices.
Although Alevo claim it is an offense to disclose the shareholders of the Swiss company, most are
found in the business registry.

Just before Christmas in 2013 Alevo Group issued 34,090 shares to Pierangelo Bottinelli. Bottinelli
had borrowed one million Swiss Francs to Alevo, and now he gets shares as consideration.
Bottinelli is an obscenely rich investor and owns watchmaker Audemars Piguet. But more important
than that, he has his own brokerage, Quaker Securities, located in Nyon, one of the most affluent
suburbs of Geneva.

Bottinellis shares were valued at 33 Swiss Francs. Soon the other employees in Quaker buy stocks, but
now valued at 80 francs. And when the stock carousel has gained so much momentum that customers
get to be with, the price is 120 francs per share.
That way, the share price is pumped up to four times, and Alevo Group is worth many billion.
Bottinelli have had an appreciation of almost 30 million.
Mr. Bottinelli
We are calling Quaker Securities in Nyon.
- Yes, Bottinelli!
He picks up the phone on the third ring.
- I think the rate is $ 170 per share now. But I have to check with the founder, Jostein Eikeland, if he
holds shares to sell now. I'll call you back.
Bottinelli is talkative. He has known Eikeland for many years, and they have done business before.
Alevos lawyer Kyrre Eggen confirms that the company has assisted Alevo.
"Alevo received assistance from Quaker Securities in financing Alevo. Quaker Securities is a
prestigious firm that knows Alevo very well, "writes Eggen in an email to DN.
But the brokerage Bottinelli represents, is not really a brokerage firm at all.
A spokesman for Finmar, financial supervision authority in Switzerland, writes DN that Quaker
Securities is not licensed to engage in stock broking.

- I can not answer whether they have had in the past, or if there are any open investigation against
Quaker, said the spokesman.

The papers from the company registry show that Eikeland and Bottinelli has sold shares in spades to
rich families in the Geneva area. Many are obviously in the network to Bottinelli. A summation shows
that this group has invested over 100 million francs - nearly one billion kroner - in Alevo Group.
Among the investors is the widow of one of France's most powerful bank tops, dictator Ferdinand
Marcos' bank contact in Switzerland, and CEOs in watch powerhouse Audemars Piguet.
Pierangelo Bottinelli never call back.
In an email to DN says lawyer Kyrre Eggen that the founder of the Quaker Securities, Pierangelo
Bottinelli, has received free shares in Alevo from Jostein Eikeland:
"Bottinelli helped Eikeland in the initial phase after TMGI bankruptcy and that one of those who have
assistance to Eikeland, he has received some free shares."

At the request of Alevo, Quaker have issued the following comment:

" we (Quaker) did not market it at all but facilitate to bring our network to have access to the deal
when investors asked. Then investors completed the deal with Alevo. We did not receive any payment
from Alevo neither free shares from the company. [...] No shares were sold from Jostein via Quaker. "

Switzerland is the country of closed doors. But even in Switzerland the public have its peepholes.

March 2016: An Eastern European girl with white miniskirt nodded briefly to the concierge. Novotel
Geneva is located in the backwater a few blocks from the financial houses and the fancy hotels along
the sea - in a district where African and Eastern European women offering their services. Business is
brilliant, it's auto show in town. The elevator runs incessantly.
At the bar sits a bunch of Norwegian businessmen taking over morning coffee. Hans Othar Blix has
travelled from Florida. Lawyer Tord Eide has jumped over the fence from DLA Piper, and been hired
as legal director in Alevo. Eric Cameron, the former editor and public relations man came from Oslo.
He will be elected to the board of Alevo Group.
A small Mercedes stops outside. Jostein Eikeland has a large scarf wrapped around his neck. The cold
makes him unable to speak to the attending shareholders Alevo Group meeting. Tord Eide took the
floor. He works effectively through the agenda.
The 15 to 20 shareholders who have taken the trouble to show up, has very few questions. In 23
minutes the Assembly amended the statutes of the company and elected a new board, entirely
controlled by the main shareholder Jostein Eikeland. Members besides Cameron and Eikeland, is
expatriate Per Heiberg Dybwad and the American advisor Harrison Wellford.
The new board starts its tenure by approving a half billion kroner in debt to be converted into shares in
Alevo. Most of the money comes from anonymous companies registered in Tortola, with business
addresses in Cyprus, the Cayman Islands or Singapore.
The most shares goes to chairman Jostein Eikeland.
Covering Alevo Groups debt to Eikeland at almost 200 million kroner.
- Eikeland has, after what Alevo knowledge, borrowed this money with collateral in Alevos shares. In
other words, we talk about money from an outside lender to Eikeland that are injected into Alevo from
Eikeland, where the lender has security in the shares to cover its loans to Eikeland, writes lawyer
Kyrre Eggen to DN.
It is not the first time Alevo borrow money from Eikeland. The last few years have Alevo Group has
been in debt to Eikeland a number of times. He has been repaid over half a billion kroner. All of it is
converted into shares in the company.
Shareholders exchanged courtesies on the hotel stairs and disappears quickly each to his own.

One of the things Alevo has spent a lot of money on, is to buy stuff from Eikeland himself.

The website Greentech Media has reported that Alevo have spent $ 100 million to develop a
supercomputer that analyzes the energy market from a subsidiary, Alevo Analytics.

That is a number I do not recognize. Can it be future budgets, asks Alevo Director Hans Blix Othar
in response to questions from DN.

Documents show that Alevo bought Alevo Analytics from Eikeland. At that time the company was
called Data Scientia. Alevo paid $ 30 million to acquire it from Eikeland and his friends. Jostein
Eikeland received approximately one third of this, in terms of Alevo shares going to his company in
the Virgin Islands. His good friends and close associates Blix and Petter Wessel Bjrnstad got shares
for USD 3m each in the process.

It was not the first time Alevo acquired assets from Eikeland.

In 2012 Alevo bought rights to a battery-powered bus. Victory Truck and Bus Company was for a
short period the company's main business. The seller was again Eikelands tax haven company.
An "Asset purchase agreement" shows that Alevo Group SA acquired intellectual property,
trademarks, contracts and rights for battery powered school buses, for ten million Swiss francs - from
Eikeland and his company Clyde Mont Finance Ltd. in the British Virgin Islands. All these rights are
later rejected as "yesterdays news."
- It was an early phase of the company, says director Eric Cameron on the bus idea.

The secret recipe

The fog is thick like a clammy hand over an old wood panel factory located in a field in Martigny, a
sleepy town between Geneva and Verbier in Switzerland. It's March.
On the roof of the buffy-brick building ia makeshift sign says: Alevo.
So this is the address of the holding company Alevo Group SA, the company that is valued at many
billion, and will revolutionize the world and transform the energy market and grid with batteries. It is
also here in this Alpine valley Alevo makes its inorganic electrolyte to be used in Alevos batteries.
The electrolyte which is called "The secret sauce," or "The Holy Grail" and that is so secret that not
even the founder, Chairman, largest shareholder Jostein Eikeland can come in and look.
An engineer with yellow vest comes out of the building.
- How many people work at the factory?
- I have not allowed to say, you must speak to the manager, says the man and strolling on the road
towards the city.

But why is it so quiet at the factory in Martigny? Sources at the factory says it's standstill in the
production of electrolyte because it is not made batteries at the factory in the United States. It is in the
US they should make the batteries and put them together in large containers, called Grid Banks.

Whoever might know Alevos battery technology best, is the inventor.
Professor Gnther Hambitzer waiting in reception along with an acquaintance he trusts. Located in a
technology park outside Bonn in Germany. He prefers to meet in a public place, safely and
Hambitzer have seen pictures and video from the factory in the United States.
- I can not see that they have humidity controlled rooms for production, and this is something experts
agree is essential to the success of the production of Li-ion batteries.
Moisture in the chemical system according Hambitzer get more negative consequences. Even if they
dry electrodes for weeks afterwards, there will be adverse consequences.
He points to what he thinks is more elementary mistakes in Alevos factory defaults, which is
detrimental to the battery he designed.
- I would almost exclude that they can get to industrial production, unless they have changed the
battery or production system, he said.
Alevo believes Hambitzer wrong:
- It is irresponsible to think that such assessments can be made from video and photo from the factory,
writes Alan Greenshields, Alevos technical manager.
Greenshields writing to DN that Hambitzers knowledge of battery production is "outdated."
- Hambitzer is a scientist, who has never worked outside the laboratory, and have no experience of
industrial production of batteries. His opinions should be seen in this light.
Although Alevo is founded on Hambitzers patented technology, the company believes that it has come
on without him.
- Alevo later found solutions that are not based on Hambitzers technology, writes lawyer Eggen in an
DN was invited to visit Alevos factory in June this year. When the newspaper only take pictures from
specific angles and places and no evidence was presented.
Technical Manager Greenshields confirms that there is no built dry rooms to make batteries in:
- We have found a production method in which the dry atmosphere is not required. We will not
disclose this, as it is a trade secret. Do you seriously want us to give you details on this? Then you are
in case unqualified to evaluate innovative technologies. I suggest you ask what Microsoft plans to
release instead. Honestly: There are limits to how stupid questions (even a journalist) can set.

Aker Brygge law

The elevator goes up the floors at Aker Brygge. Alevo Norway AS - a subsidiary of the Swiss parent
company - has its address here.
In the airy atrium, one can look into the legal offices of DLA Piper.
- Mail for Alevo will be retrieved by Tord Eide, but the company has no office here, said the
In all transactions that have occurred with Norwegian investors the law firm DLA Piper is a common
thread. The credibility of a large international law firm has played a key role in Jostein Eikeland's new
life, there is no doubt.

- Everything has gone through DLA Piper. At the law firm was involved was crucial that I chose to
invest in Alevo, says shareholder Ingolv Hageberg.
He invested savings on Eikeland.

The same applies to the Norwegian photographer Morten Qvale who have spent a good sum of money
on Alevo shares. He made the decision after a meeting with lawyer Tord Eide, who previously worked
and has been a partner in DLA Piper and who now works as a corporate lawyer in Alevo.

- I've been in meetings where they have presented the company, I dont throw the money out the
window. It's big stuff this here, it's no toy business, he says.
- Have you seen any prospectus, received no accounts or any other written material from the
- No, I have not, but I trust what they tell me, says the photographer.
To rely on a large US law firm is not so strange.

"Net liquid assets"

So did the battery researcher Gnther Hambitzer, when he handed control of his life's work to Jostein
He really believed that "net liquid assets in Clyde Mont Finance Ltd and other companies controlled
by Mr. Jostein Eikeland, exceeded 150-200 million euros," which DLA lawyer Tord Eide wrote in the
note in 2011.
At this point Alevo Group was not even founded.
Now says lawyer Eide that Hambitzer have misunderstood:
- The document says nothing about Eikeland's solvency. It expresses not even that the companies
Eikeland controls have positive equity.
DLA Piper also says that confirmation could not interpreted the way Hambitzer did.
"The document is no confirmation of the existence of values in a named company," writes CEO Johan
Ratvik in an email to DN.

DN has requested an overview of what the assets described in the document consisted of. This has
neither Eikeland or DLA Piper wanted to explain.
None of them have responded to what exactly was the purpose of the document.
That Eikeland controlled such values, nobody knew.
At least not the tax man.

Zero Production

Investors have now injected more than $200 million in Alevo. And the price is high. For this money,
investors have received less than 25 percent of the company. Alevo is currently valued at $1,6 billion,
if one relies on the last registered share issue price of 120 Swiss Francs.
That despite the fact that the company still has yet to deliver his first Grid Bank factory in the United
Jostein Eikeland owned most of the shares when Alevo was created. DN has repeatedly asked
Eikeland on information on how many shares he has sold, and at what price.

Documentation DN have access to shows that Eikeland has sold between 1.5 and three million shares
in Alevo. Assuming a share price of just $ 70 due to which an average price, thus has Eikeland sold
shares for between 750 million and 1.5 billion kroner.
- Alevo has all the information, but it's private and confidential information that can not be published
in a newspaper. To divulge such a listing would also be in violation of Swiss law, writes lawyer Eggen
to DN.
He would not disclose how many shares Eikeland own today.

Monthly updates on Alevos website on the progress of the company, came to a halt in July 2015
when it said: "Alevo continues to work hard preparing for Grid Bank manufacturing."

One year later, the status is the same.

The first Grid Bank will be shipped from the factory later this year, writes Eggen on behalf of Alevo
in an email to DN.

Its exactly the same as Alevo said 20 months ago - in January 2015.

At the factory in Concord, its not as hectic as when they prepared it for the opening in 2014. The 500
jobs promised for the beginning of 2016 has not been a reality.

Yesterday Alevo sent out a press release stating that the company's first "Grid Bank assembly unit" is
sent from the factory in the United States to one of its partners for testing.

Status of output is very obscure.

Production is large enough to cover the battery cells at the present time, there. Alevos lawyer,
Kyrre Eggen, will say about it.

According to Eggen industrial production rate should be achieved in the fourth quarter of this year

Fresh Money
In the United States several suppliers to Alevos battery factory sits on needles. They are struggling to
get paid for their work. Earlier this spring, they had to go to court to get payment for several months of
- We are a family business. If this goes wrong, we can lose much of what we have built up, told one of
the suppliers to DN before the summer.
- We have got back half now, so under doubt we continue the mission for them. Alevo have said they
will have a big share issue in Scandinavia this summer, so we'll wait and see.
Alevo informs via his lawyer Kyrre Eggen that the company has raised NOK 800 million in a
convertible loan in the summer "from existing shareholders," who can not be identified because of
Swiss law.

All Hunts
When Eikeland left Norway, he owed nearly $10 million in taxes.
The tax claim from 2007 is now grown to $15 million with interest and late fees, shows public
documents. The Treasurer in Oslo confirms that this is probably the largest tax claim in Oslo currently.

A lien for this amount against Eikeland was renewed in 2014.

Eikeland's lawyer, Kyrre Eggen, disputing, however, that the Norwegian authorities have any tax
claims against Jostein Eikeland.

In public Swiss registries are registered liens against Jostein Eikeland for 12 million Swiss francs,
according to a transcript from April this year.
Among others, former SAS chief Janne Carlzon registered a public claim against Eikeland, dating
from 2006.
- It applies to repurchase agreements for stocks, tells a taciturn Carlzon to DN.
The Swedish porn king Berth Milton has also reported a disputed claim dozens million from 2011.
Even on an apartment Eikeland own Tonsberg, it registered claim tens of millions kroner from a
Norwegian businessman.
But where can the money be collected? Where are Jostein Eikeland and his values really? Creditors
scratching their heads.
- Jostein Eikeland resident in Switzerland, says director Eric Cameron in Alevo to DN.
Are we sure?

Boca bling
The boat glides slowly into the channel between the rows of houses in what is called "Sun and Surf
Club Community." We are in Boca Raton, not far from Alevos offices in Florida. Nimble speed
monsters and small yachts is along the docks. At the head of the canal we find Jostein Eikeland's
flashy "McMansion" - a newer villa in faux-Renaissance style with palm trees on grass stain on the
road. In a boat lift a four-million Bahama Boats fishing speedboat with 1700 horsepower. Turquoise,
with three outboard motors in matching color. In the four garages, there is space for Eikeland's fleet,
one Tesla, a Porsche, a BMW and a Mercedes. The most expensive models, of course. Spring water
trickles into the pool.
The house is valued at $5 million. It is registered to a company owned by Eikeland called 787 Marble
Way LLC.

Ding dong. Jostein Eikeland?

- He's away. He may be home in five weeks.
It is Mrs. Eikeland standing in the doorway.
- Do you have a phone number for him?
- He switches phones constantly when he is traveling.
Eikeland has declined several interview requests in recent months. He will either meet or talk with


Alevo have sent this comment to DN about the company's business:

"Alevo would strongly emphasize that DN's claims are based on an underlying assertion that Alevos
business is" air "without substance. Alevo will strongly denounce such slanderous allegation. Alevo
want to emphasize that the company has acquired approximately 200 million CHF in equity from very
professional investors who together with their professional advisers have thorough processes in
relation to the company's documents, technology, market, suppliers, etc., before investment has
occurred. That Alevo has managed to recoup such a significant amount of equity from professional
investors [...], demonstrates by Alevos vision with clarity that DN underlying assertion that Alevos
business is "air" without substance, is erroneous. "

Testing in progress
Alevo thinks tests which are conducted by the company's batteries shows that the company is able to
produce battery cells that lives up to its promises of performance and lifetime.
DNV GL is to perform a larger test Alevos batteries, and a preliminary part of the test was released
- This report from DNV confirms that Alevos technology works according to what Alevo
communicated to the market, writes lawyer Kyrre Eggen in CLP to DN.
The report notes that the DNV visited Alevos research center in Bruchsal, Germany, but not seen in
the production of Alevos factory in the United States.
"The preliminary conclusion is that Alevo has implemented a reliable, thorough and precise quality
control in the production of research Cells", is the conclusion in the DNV report.
DNV writes this assertion could change: "Final conclusion may differ from this preliminary
DN has asked DNV what the test can tell about Alevos production of batteries in the United States.
For this Jillis Raadschelder, head of DNV GL's department for renewable energy and storing says this:
- The technical assessment is of R & D facilities in Bruchsal - and only that. Other production sites are
outside our mandate.
Currently, eight battery cells has been tested through 250 charging cycles. It is 14,000 cells in a Grid
Bank, and these, according Alevo have rated life of 50,000 charge cycles. It is too early to conclude
whether the batteries, according to the preliminary report.
DNV GL stated that the test will be completed in December.

Alevo argues that the German research institute ZSW has tested Alevos technology "with very
positive results." The report should be commissioned by an investor and Alevo not want that data from
this report will be published when it is competition-sensitive.
- Alevo want to emphasize that the company has acquired approximately 200 million CHF in equity
from very professional investors who together with their professional advisers have thorough
processes in relation to the company's documents, technology, market, suppliers etc before
investments have happened, writes the company lawyer Kyrre Eggen.
Also a former test from Intertek, the battery transport characteristics with regard to vibrations,
collisions and pressure, is performed on cells produced in Germany.
In a press release Friday announced Alevo that the first "Grid Bank Assembly Unit" is released to
"Factory Acceptance Testing" with partner Parker Hannifin United States.
This unit will later be sent to the small town of Lewes in Delaware, to be installed in the city's power
- It is not certain when we get it, but we reckon that we are targets before January 2017, says Darrin
Gordon, head of the Lewes Board of Public Works in an email to DN.
According Alevos lawyer Kyrre Eggen commercial test production has been underway for several
weeks at Alevos factory in the United States.
- It produces daily a significant number of cells to deliver on existing commercial contracts, writes
Eggen to DN.