Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), owned 50% by Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WWASA), has received the final cease and desist order and final surcharge order from the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC).
The JFTC states that WWL and other companies in the industry, in the years 2008 - 2012, restrained competition through jointly agreeing on raising or maintaining rates, thereby breaching the Antimonopoly Act. Todays' final order confirms the draft decision received in January 2014. For WWL, the surcharge is set to JPY 3 495 710 000 (approximately USD 34 million) and primarily related to shipments of new cars from Japan to Europe. WWASA made an accrual of USD 16.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The final order will therefore not have any effect on the accounts for the first quarter of 2014.
Cost of process management related to these investigations is charged on an ongoing basis. For 2013, the fees to lawyers and other process related expenses were estimated to USD 8-9 million (WWASA share). Except the accrual of USD 16.5 million, no other accruals or reserves have been charged to the accounts.
EUKOR Car Carriers, owned 40% by WWASA, was initially included in the investigation, but has been dropped by the JFTC.
WWASA has not received any further information through WWL and EUKOR on ongoing investigations in other jurisdictions, but the joint ventures will continue to cooperate with relevant authorities as applicable.