WILMINGTON, Del. (Jan. 19)—DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C. has agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing of polychloroprene over a three-year period and pay an $84 million fine.
The company, a 50/50 joint venture between DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co., also agreed to settle a federal class-action lawsuit related to price-fixing of EPDM.
To cover these expenses, DuPont said it will increase its $150 million consolidated litigation reserve—set up last year to fund DuPont Dow antitrust liabilities and costs—by $118 million on a pre-tax basis. DuPont said this action would result in a special charge of about $100 million pre-tax against fourth-quarter 2004 results.
DuPont Dow also has set aside $36 million in an escrow fund to settle a number of civil lawsuits against it pertaining to the polychloroprene price-fixing, which occurred from August 1999 to April 2002.
DuPont and Dow plan to dissolve their 9-year-old venture later this year and split the assets.