Montana pollution costs Rhodia USD 40 million

1st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 1 (AFP) - French specialty chemicals group Rhodia is to pay a fine of USD 18 million (EUR 15 million) in the United States for pollution at a site in Montana as well as clean-up costs, a spokeman said Tuesday.

PARIS, June 1 (AFP) - French specialty chemicals group Rhodia is to pay a fine of USD 18 million (EUR 15 million) in the United States for pollution at a site in Montana as well as clean-up costs, a spokeman said Tuesday.

The company pleaded guilty in a Montana court for having illegally stored rubble containing phosphates.

The spokesman said that the group had made total provisions of USD 40 million for the incident, including USD 6 million for the clean-up.

However, French business newspaper La Tribune reported an assistant to the prosecutor in the case as saying that the total bill cold come to as much as USD 50 million to USD 100 million.

In reaction to the report, the Rhodia spokesman said: "We think we have provisioned the right amount".

Separately, Rhodia said it had completed the sale of its food ingredients business to Danish group Danisco for EUR 320 million (USD 392 million), and confirmed earlier estimates that the transaction would generate a capital gain before taxes of EUR 200 million.

Rhodia, which is in the midst of a deep financial crisis, has said the sale would significantly reduce group debt.

Shares in the company were sharply lower in morning trade here, as news of a US pollution fine offset the impact of the announced capital gain.

Rhodia shares were down 3.74 percent at EUR 1.03 in a broadly lower market.

"The US fine is disappointing news," one London-based analyst said, who asked not to be identified.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

0 Comments To This Article