Lemminkäinen appeals cartel fine

By Sandy Guthrie01 April 2014

Finnish contractor Lemminkäinen is to appeal against a fine levied against it last November, having been found guilty of acting as part of an asphalt cartel.

At that time, the company was ordered to pay €48 million in damages, interest and legal expenses.

Taking the case to the Helsinki Court of Appeal, Lemminkäinen has said now that in its opinion, there were some judicial aspects in the decisions of the District Court of Helsinki, where the conclusions of that Court differed from previous legal practices.

It said examples of these judicial aspects related to the questions of prescriptions and value added tax. Lemminkäinen said it would appeal against all 35 decisions where the plaintiffs’ claims were upheld.

On 28 November, 2013, the District Court gave its decisions concerning damages related to the asphalt cartel. Six other defendants were ordered to pay damages ­– VLT Trading, NCC Roads, Skanska Asfaltti, SA-Capital, Rudus Asfaltti and Super Asfaltti – up to the low single digit millions.

Lemminkäinen’s was the largest, split into damages of €26 million, and interest and legal expenses of approximately €22 million.

It paid the damages in January 2014.

The amounts decided by the District Court were recorded in Lemminkäinen's 2013 fourth quarter results. It reported an operating loss for the final quarter and year end of 2013, due in part to non-recurring items that included the €65.6 million it reported as expenses related to the asphalt cartel, and a write-down of €20.1 million on commercial properties.

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