Bloomberg News

Reckitt Benckiser Condom Supply Suit Rejected by U.K. Court

October 19, 2011

(Updates with comment from company in seventh paragraph.)

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- A unit of Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc that makes Durex condoms lost a bid to have a U.K. court intervene in a dispute with an Indian supplier that has disrupted global supplies of the brand.

Reckitt asked a London judge to force TTK Lig, the largest manufacturer of Durex products, to resume supply. It hasn’t provided any condoms since a pricing dispute in May.

The matter should be dealt with by an Indian tribunal, a U.K appeals court said today. “The court was asked to make an order that would require an unacceptable degree of supervision in a foreign land,” said Judge Stanley Burnton.

TTK makes half of all Durex condoms sold globally and the spat has caused “serious disruption” to supply, Burnton said. Reckitt has already run out of some stocks, and factories in China and Thailand are at full capacity. Reckitt Benckiser brands account for 83 percent of the U.K. condom market, according to court documents.

TTK, an Indian joint venture with Slough, England-based Reckitt, appointed new directors and raised its prices earlier this year. It has not complied with Indian court orders made to resume supplying condoms to Reckitt, according to today’s ruling.

The case is continuing in India, “but we are unable to provide further information as it is a legal proceeding,” Andraea Dawson-Shepherd, a spokeswoman for Reckitt, said in an e-mailed statement.

The case is: SSL International Plc v. TK-L1G Ltd., High Court of Justice (London), Chancery Division, HC11C02075

--Editors: Anthony Aarons, Christopher Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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