Industry settlement in US civil anti-trust litigation
Reference is made to the previously disclosed class-action complaints in the US against Cermaq and five other producers and/or sellers of Norwegian salmon (together with certain of their subsidiaries) (collectively referred to as the Defendants), over claims concerning anti-competitive behaviour. While all Defendants reject that there is any basis for the claims and consider the complaints to be entirely unsubstantiated, all Defendants in the US class action related to the direct purchaser case have now, following a mandatory mediation procedure, accepted a settlement offer from the direct purchaser plaintiffs subject to approval by the court of Southern District of Florida. The total settlement amount for all Defendants is USD 85 million.
All Defendants expressly reject the allegations regarding anti-competitive behaviour and strongly believe that the antitrust claims lack merit. Given that the costs of litigation in the US are substantial, coupled with the timeline for any litigation and required engagement of extensive internal resources, Cermaq has nonetheless agreed to a settlement for pure commercial purposes. The settlement does not involve any admission of liability or wrongdoing.