Dow Chemical Company
and its subsidiary Union Carbide Corporation have
filed lawsuits in the US against Odfjell and three other major parcel chemical tanker carriers, Stolt-Nielsen, Tokyo Marine and JO Tankers in relation to violations of antitrust laws in the US, and claimed damages as a consequence thereof. The lawsuits have not yet been served on Odfjell.
On September 29, Odfjell ASA
's wholly owned subsidiary Odfjell Seachem AS entered into a voluntary plea agreement with the US Department of Justice. Odfjell Seachem AS agreed to plead guilty to a single-count violation of the US Sherman Antitrust Act for allocating customers and thereby fixing prices on certain contracts of affreightment from 1998 to 2002.
It is our firm opinion that Odfjell Seachem's customers have not suffered any losses because of the antitrust violations, and consequently there is no basis for the claims from Dow Chemicals and Union Carbide. Because these matters are still at an early stage, we are unable to provide further information for the time being.