German Cartel Office imposes a fine – Bell rejects charges and will file an appeal

15.07.2014, Ad hoc release pursuant to Art. 53 LR

In antitrust proceedings for illegal price agreement, the German Federal Cartel Office investigated charges against the former ZIMBO Fleisch- und Wurstwaren GmbH & Co. KG and Abraham GmbH and imposed a substantial fine on Bell Deutschland Holding GmbH, a direct subsidiary of Bell Ltd. Bell considers this fine to be unjustified and will vigorously defend itself against this decision.

In antitrust proceedings for illegal price agreement in the German sausage industry, the Federal Cartel Office imposed a fine of 100 million euro on Bell's German subsidiary. Bell has taken note of the decision of the Federal Cartel Office, but decisively rejects the charges on which the fine is based. Not only is the decision to impose a fine factually incorrect and legally inappropriate, but the fine is also disproportionately high for an industry with very narrow margins. The charges also pre-date the acquisition of ZIMBO Fleisch- und Wurstwaren GmbH and Abraham GmbH by Bell Ltd. Bell will therefore appeal the decision to impose a fine before the court and pursue its reversal. The legal proceedings to clear up this matter are expected to run over several years.

Bell will comment on the proceedings whenever new facts come to light.

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Davide Elia

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Jan Kirchhofer

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