19 April 2013
Ad hoc: Federal Court of Justice in Germany confirms in essence the verdict in the German cartel proceedings
The Federal Court of Justice in Germany confirmed the fine imposed on HeidelbergCement in 2009 by the Higher Court of Düsseldorf at a reduced level of €161.4 million. After release of the respective provision, a P&L effective charge of €30 million remains in the second quarter 2013. The cash outflow of €161.4 million will probably occur within the next 12 to 18 months. Result outlook and financial planning remain unchanged.
"We have to accept the verdict of the Federal Court of Justice, and we state that the law suit has now been concluded after a long period of time,” says Dr. Bernd Scheifele, Chairman of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement. “No current member of the Managing Board of HeidelbergCement was involved in the incidents which date back more than ten years. Since then, HeidelbergCement has set up a consistent compliance programme which was certified by a renowned law firm in 2010. It includes a clear company guideline and comprehensive training measures for Managing Board members and employees, supported by modern communication tools, as well as a 24/7 compliance hotline. The Managing Board communicates regularly to all managers and employees that cartel law violations are not tolerated at HeidelbergCement. With all these measures in place, we believe to be well prepared to avoid such violations in the future.”
The company and other cement producers were initially fined in 2003 by the German competition authority for violations of cartel laws between 1990 and 2002. After an appeal against the fine with the Higher Court of Düsseldorf, the case was reevaluated in 2009, and the fine reduced from around €250 million to around €170 million. An appeal against this verdict has been lodged with the Federal Court of Justice in connection with the breach of procedural and material regulations. The Federal Court of Justice has finally reduced the fine by additional €8.5 million due to the excessive length of the proceedings.
HeidelbergCement is one of the largest building materials manufacturers worldwide, as the global market leader in aggregates and with leading positions in cement, concrete, and other downstream activities. The Group employs around 52,000 people at 2,500 locations in more than 40 countries.