June 21, 2006
Stolt-Nielsen denied rehearing
Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (NasdaqNM: SNSA; Oslo Stock Exchange: SNI) says that the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has denied the company's request for a rehearing en banc of a decision by a two-judge panel.
This development lets stand a March 2006 Third Circuit decision by a two-judge panel, which reversed a District Court injunction barring the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division from indicting the Company.
The District Court injunction barring an indictment remains in place until a formal mandate regarding the decision is issued by the Third Circuit and the existing injunction is then lifted by the District Court.
Stolt-Nielsen said that the company intends to seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the Third Circuit panel ruling.
If all of Stolt-Nielsen's appeals are exhausted and the company is indicted, the company says it "would promptly move to dismiss the indictment on the grounds of the written Amnesty Agreement between the company and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. On such a motion, the company would renew the arguments based on the Amnesty Agreement, which succeeded in initially winning the District Court injunction. The Third Circuit panel decision, while concluding that the District Court did not have authority to enforce the Amnesty Agreement prior to an indictment, expressly confirms Stolt-Nielsen's right to file after an indictment a prompt motion to dismiss on the basis of the Amnesty Agreement. The Third Circuit has not addressed the merits of Stolt-Nielsen's defense based on the Amnesty Agreement."