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Akzo Nobel Reaches Agreement With U.S. Department of Justice

Pressmeddelande   •   Mar 15, 2006 08:32 CET

Arnhem, the Netherlands, March 15, 2006 — Akzo Nobel has taken a significant step towards closing the door on past antitrust misconduct by agreeing with the United States Department of Justice to plead guilty and pay a USD 32 million (EUR 27 million) fine for an antitrust violation involving the fixing of prices in the U.S. hydrogen peroxide market.

The company’s involvement in the case began in 1998, two years before Akzo Nobel intensified its antitrust compliance program to crackdown on any potential cartel issues. Since 2000, the company has cooperated extensively with the authorities regarding any suspected violations.

“We regret Akzo Nobel’s past conduct and I am determined that we should put the company’s previous breaches of competition law behind us,” said CEO Hans Wijers. “We are fully committed to ensuring that events such as this do not occur again and now operate a zero tolerance policy for those who take part in any anti-competitive behavior.”

At the end of 2005, the company‘s provision for antitrust matters amounted to EUR 204 million, which included a reserve for the anticipated fine.

Hydrogen peroxide is widely used as a bleaching agent in the pulp and paper industry, and is also used in applications in the textile, electronics, energy production, mining, cosmetics, and food processing industries.

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Not for publication – for more information
Akzo Nobel nv
Corporate Media Relations, tel. +31 26 366 43 43
Contact: Heleen van de Lustgraaf

Note for the editor
Akzo Nobel is a Global Fortune 500 company and is listed on both the Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ stock exchanges. It is also listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. Based in the Netherlands, we are a multicultural organization serving customers throughout the world with human and animal healthcare products, coatings, and chemicals. We employ around 61,500 people and conduct our activities in four segments − human and animal health, coatings and chemicals − subdivided into 13 business units, with operating subsidiaries in more than 80 countries. Consolidated revenues for 2005 totaled EUR 13.0 billion. The financial results for the first quarter will be published on April 20, 2006.

Internet: www.akzonobel.com


Safe Harbor Statement*
This press release may contain statements which address such key issues as Akzo Nobel’s growth strategy, future financial results, market positions, product development, pharmaceutical products in the pipeline, and product approvals. Such statements should be carefully considered, and it should be understood that many factors could cause forecasted and actual results to differ from these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, price fluctuations, currency fluctuations, progress of drug development, clinical testing and regulatory approval, developments in raw material and personnel costs, pensions, physical and environmental risks, legal issues, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory measures. Stated competitive positions are based on management estimates supported by information provided by specialized external agencies. For a more comprehensive discussion of the risk factors affecting our business please see our Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, a copy of which can be found on the company’s corporate website www.akzonobel.com. The 2005 Annual Report on Form 20-F will be available in the second quarter of 2006.

* Pursuant to the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act 1995.


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