US judge approves BASF's $51m settlement in isocyanates suit

12 December 2011 22:03  [Source: ICIS news]

A BASF tankHOUSTON (ICIS)--A US judge approved on Monday BASF's proposal to pay $51m (€38m) to settle allegations that it fixed isocyanates prices, leaving Dow Chemical as the last producer fighting the class-action lawsuit.

In settling the case, BASF denied that it fixed prices. Instead, BASF settled the case to avoid the cost, inconvenience and distractions that would come with prolonging the litigation.

The settlement was approved by the US District Court, district of Kansas.

The BASF settlement leaves Dow Chemical as the last producer fighting the price-fixing lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in 2004, and it accused Huntsman, Bayer, BASF, Dow and LyondellBasell of fixing prices. The complaint covered propylene oxide (PO)-based polyether polyols; methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI); and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) that were purchased from 1 January 1999 through 31 December 2004.

Earlier this year, Huntsman agreed to pay $33m to settle the lawsuit. The court approved the settlement in September.

Netherlands-based LyondellBasell has also settled the lawsuit. However, it paid nothing.

In 2006, Bayer agreed to pay $55.3m to settle the allegations.  

In all, the isocyanates customers have reached $139.3m in settlements with the producers.

Meanwhile, a separate price-fixing lawsuit has been filed against many of the isocyanates customers. These customers used the isocyanates as feedstock to produce polyurethane foam.

The buyers of polyurethane foam accused the producers of fixing prices. That lawsuit is still pending in US District Court, northern Ohio district.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on TDI or MDI visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more on BASF visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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