Bloomberg News

Voestalpine Sets Aside $268 Million on German Railway Antitrust

March 13, 2012

A Voestalpine AG steelworker monitors molten steel at the company's plant in Linz, Austria. Photographer: Dieter Nagl/Bloomberg

A Voestalpine AG steelworker monitors molten steel at the company's plant in Linz, Austria. Photographer: Dieter Nagl/Bloomberg

Voestalpine AG (VOE), Austria’s biggest steelmaker, agreed to set aside 205 million euros ($268 million) in reserves for risks stemming from antitrust proceedings pertaining to its German TSTG Schienentechnik GmbH & Co KG unit.

The company’s management board also decided to close the Duisburg-based unit by year-end as it is no longer economically viable, according to a statement late yesterday.

The reserves will be “reflected in the annual financial report as of March 31,” which is scheduled to be reported on May 30, the company said. “From today´s perspective, this reserve will cover all costs related to the closure of rail production in Duisburg, as well as all risks associated with the antitrust proceedings.”

The Austrian steelmaker, led by Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Eder, said last year that it was the whistle-blower in a German investigation over possible antitrust violations in the railway steel market. While the company has said that it expects to be exempt from any fines because of its whistle-blower status, this wouldn’t excuse it from civil law claims.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net; Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net


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