HOUSTON(June 14)—Nitrile rubber suppliers ParaTec Elastomers L.L.C. and DESC S.A. de C.V. have agreed to set aside $3.5 million to settle lawsuits pending against them regarding price-fixing of the material.
Houston-based ParaTec is the nitrile rubber unit of Mexico's DESC, which operates 25,000 metric tons of nitrile capacity at its chemical complex in Altimira, Mexico.
Set up as a joint venture in 1999 by DESC and Crompton Corp.'s Uniroyal Chemical unit, ParaTec has been wholly owned by DESC since December 2001 and is the sole owner of the Paracril trade name. Because of its joint venture status, ParaTec was granted immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice in the DOJ's criminal investigation as an extension of the immunity status given Crompton at that time, DESC said.
Bayer A.G. earlier agreed to plead guilty to and pay a $4.7 million criminal fine for participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of nitrile rubber for eight months during 2002.