26 – Risks from litigation and claims
In the arbitration proceedings initiated in May 2013, Metrogas S.A., Chile, claims damages valued in an amount of €227 million as a result of insufficient gas deliveries against Wintershall Energía S.A., Argentina (WIAR), Total Austral S.A., Argentina, and Pan American Energy LLC, Argentina. The defendants, as sellers, concluded a natural gas supply contract with Metrogas in 1997. WIAR’s share of supply in the contract is 37.5%. After the resignation of the chairman of the Arbitral Tribunal in mid-2016, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) nominated a new Arbitral Tribunal that will be pursuing the arbitration proceedings during 2017. The defendants are of the opinion that Metrogas does not have any claim for damages
BASF Corporation has potential liability under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, and related state laws for investigation and cleanup at certain sites. The Lower Passaic River Study Area (LPRSA) is one such site comprising the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey. In 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency selected a final remedy for the lower 8 miles of the River. BASF Corporation and more than 60 other companies (collectively, the Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group or CPG) are conducting a remedial investigation / feasibility study (RI/FS) of the entire 17 miles of the River. A decision on the remedy for the upper portion of the River will be made following completion of the RI/FS.
In November 2014, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York against BASF Metals Limited (BML) along with other defendants, alleging violations of antitrust and commodities laws stemming from the price discovery process for platinum and palladium. BML, based in the United Kingdom, and the other defendants are accused of improper conduct concerning the calculation of the market prices of platinum and palladium. Four additional lawsuits were filed between November 2014 and March 2015. The lawsuits were consolidated, and a Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint was eventually filed in July 2015. This Complaint also names as a defendant, among others, BASF Corporation. On September 21, 2015, defendants filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, and BML and BASF Corporation filed individual motions to dismiss. In addition, a pro se complaint with similar allegations was filed in the same court in September 2015. Motions to dismiss the pro se complaint have also been filed. Pre-trial discovery is stayed pending resolution of the motions to dismiss. In April 2015, BML received from the European Commission written requests for information regarding platinum and palladium trading BML provided responsive information to the European Commission most recently in the spring of 2016. Since then, BML has not received any requests for further information or follow up.
Furthermore, BASF SE and its affiliated companies are defendants in or parties to a variety of judicial, arbitrational or regulatory proceedings on a recurring basis. To our current knowledge, none of these proceedings will have a material effect on the economic situation of BASF.