Arnhem, the Netherlands, May 3, 2006 Akzo Nobel is close to resolving one of its past antitrust misconduct issues following todays announcement by the EU Commission that fines totaling EUR 388 million have been issued against seven chemical groups involved in a competition law infringement in the hydrogen peroxide market in Europe.
This includes a fine of EUR 25.2 million for Eka Chemicals A.B., Akzo Nobel Chemicals (Holding) B.V. and Akzo Nobel N.V. (collectively the Akzo Nobel Companies).
Except for the amnesty applicant, the fine imposed on the Akzo Nobel Companies is the fine with the highest reduction (40%), given for its cooperation with the EU Commissions investigation. It should be noted, that the Akzo Nobel Companies were not involved in an earlier EU Commission decision concerning anticompetitive behavior in the hydrogen peroxide market in 1984.
Following the recent resolution of the hydrogen peroxide investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, todays decision by the EU Commission brings us closer to resolving all previous breaches of competition law, said Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers.
We will, of course, have to study the full decisionwhich is expected within the next few weeksbefore we can comment in detail and decide whether or not to file an appeal. I do want to reiterate, however, that we regret Akzo Nobels past conduct and are fully committed to ensuring that events such as this do not occur again. Indeed, we operate a zero tolerance policy for those who take part in any anticompetitive behavior.
At the end of 2005, Akzo Nobels provision for antitrust matters amounted to EUR 204 million. This anticipated fine was provided for in full.
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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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 included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and FTSE4Good Index. 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 second quarter will be published on July 20, 2006.
Safe Harbor Statement*
This press release may contain statements which address such key issues as Akzo Nobels 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 companys corporate website www.akzonobel.com. The 2005 Annual Report on Form 20-F will be available at the end of the second quarter of 2006.
* Pursuant to the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act 1995.
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