Damages related to the asphalt cartel
On 28 November 2013, the District Court of Helsinki issued its decisions concerning damages related to the asphalt cartel. In line with the decisions, Lemminkäinen recorded approximately EUR 66 million in expenses in its 2013 result. Of this, approximately EUR 60 million consisted of damages ordered only to Lemminkäinen, Lemminkäinen’s share of the damages ordered to it and other asphalt industry companies to be paid jointly and severally, as well as interest and legal expenses related to the damages. This amount was paid by the company in January 2014.
Lemminkäinen has appealed against all 35 decisions, where the plaintiffs’ claims were partly upheld, to the Helsinki Court of Appeal. In Lemminkäinen’s opinion, there are some judicial aspects in the decisions of the District Court, where the conclusions of the District Court differ from previous legal practices. Such judicial aspects are related to the questions of prescriptions and value added tax, for example. The main oral hearing in the Court of Appeal will take place during 2015. The Finnish state and 22 municipalities have also submitted their appeals to the Helsinki Court of Appeal.
In addition to the claims which the Helsinki District Court has decided on in November 2013, Lemminkäinen has been served summons regarding 21 claims against Lemminkäinen and other asphalt companies for damages. The capital amount of these claims is approximately EUR 26 million. For these claims, Lemminkäinen has made a provision worth EUR 12.3 million.
More information on the asphalt cartel, related damages and related communications can be found on the company’s website http://www.lemminkainen.com/Lemminkainen/Investors/Lemminkainen-as-an-investment/Asphalt-cartel-issue/.
Quotas related to the use of recycled asphalt
On 7 December 2014, the prosecutor decided to press charges for an environmental offence against Lemminkäinen and two of its employees. The alleged offence is related to the quotas for the amount of recycled asphalt used in asphalt mass production, as defined in the environmental permits of the company’s Sammonmäki asphalt plant in Finland. The prosecutor is demanding Lemminkäinen a confiscation of illegal profit of EUR 3.4 million and a corporate fine of at least EUR 120,000.
Lemminkäinen and its employees consider themselves not guilty of the charges presented. The case pertains to the interpretation of a regulation in the environmental permit. Crushing recycled asphalt for using it as raw material for new asphalt is an ecological practice. It reduces the environmental hazards of production when compared to asphalt made of virgin materials. Asphalt mass containing recycled asphalt is of the same quality as asphalt mass made of virgin materials.
The hearing of the case will most likely start at the District Court of Tuusula in the spring of 2015.