April 3, 2006
Stolt ups provision for antitrust settlements
Stolt-Nielsen S.A. says it will take additional charges totaling $13.8 million to its previously announced unaudited fourth-quarter 2005 results. The additional charges primarily reflect additional customer-related antitrust provisions of $13.5 million.
A company announcement says that Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group (SNTG) has "actively engaged in discussions with a number of customers regarding the subject matter of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and European Commission (EC) antitrust investigations. To date, SNTG has reached agreements or agreements in principle resolving existing and potential claims with a significant number of its major customers, with the condition that the customer relinquishes all claims arising out of the matters that are the subject of the antitrust investigations."
SNTG has provided an additional $13.5 million against fourth-quarter 2005 revenue, reflecting the cash payments or guaranteed payment terms of such agreements or agreements reached in principle or offers made to customers, since February 23, 2006 when the company announced its unaudited financial results for the period ended November 30, 2005. The amount is in addition to the provisions of $15.6 million previously reported on February 23, 2006.
In some cases, SNTG has agreed to future discounts, referred to as rebates, which are subject to a maximum cap and are tied to continuing or additional business. The potential future rebates are not charged against revenues unless and until the rebate is earned. The aggregate amount of such future rebates for which SNTG could be responsible under existing settlement agreements, agreements in principle and offers made is approximately $16 million. Stolt-Nielsen expects that most of the revenues that would be subject to these rebates will occur within the first two years subsequent to November 30, 2005.