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December 27, 2007

Stolt-Nielsen antitrust case ends

The Department of Justice issued a statement on Friday, December 21, saying it will not appeal the dismissal of the indictment in U.S. v. Stolt-Nielsen S.A. et al.

In a statement issued today, Stolt-Nielsen said the decision not to appeal the ruling of U.S. District Judge Bruce W. Kauffman brings to an end the Justice Department's criminal antitrust case against the company and two of its executives related to the parcel tanker industry.

"We are pleased to have the Justice Department acknowledge the factual findings of the District Court," said Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. "We are pleased that justice has been served, the amnesty agreement stands, and this case is finally over."

"The company remains grateful to the American justice system to see this vindication. We had an impartial court listen to the evidence and exonerate us from the claims made by the Antitrust Division," Mr. Stolt-Nielsen continued.

Judge Kauffman had released his ruling on November 30, 200. His decision dismissed the criminal indictment brought by the Antitrust Division in September 2006 based on the promises made by the Antitrust Division to the company in a January 15, 2003 Amnesty Agreement.

The Department of Justice had sought to remove Stolt Nielsen from its amnesty program.

The Department said in its statement that while it was disappointed with Judge Kauffman's ruling it respected the role of the court "in making the factual determinations that support the decision that Stolt-Nielsen, two of its subsidiaries, and two executives did not breach the conditional leniency agreement."

The Department noted that Stolt-Nielsen is the only company that the Antitrust Division has ever sought to remove from its Corporate Leniency Program since the policy was first adopted in 1978 and then subsequently revised in 1993.