COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2015
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
19. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
We have various purchase commitments extending through 2029 for materials, supplies and services entered into in the ordinary course of business. Included in the purchase commitments table below are contracts which require minimum volume purchases that extend beyond one year or are renewable annually and have been renewed for 2016. Certain contracts allow for changes in minimum required purchase volumes in the event of a temporary or permanent shutdown of a facility. To the extent the contract requires a minimum notice period, such notice period has been included in the table below. The contractual purchase prices for substantially all of these contracts are variable based upon market prices, subject to annual negotiations. We have estimated our contractual obligations by using the terms of our current pricing for each contract. We also have a limited number of contracts which require a minimum payment even if no volume is purchased. We believe that all of our purchase obligations will be utilized in our normal operations. For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, we made minimum payments of nil, nil and $7 million, respectively, under such take or pay contracts without taking the product.
Total purchase commitments as of December 31, 2015 are as follows (dollars in millions):
We lease certain railcars, aircraft, equipment and facilities under long-term lease agreements. The total expense recorded under operating lease agreements in our consolidated statements of operations is approximately $94 million, $97 million and $80 million for 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, net of sublease rentals of approximately $3 million, $3 million and $4 million for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.
Future minimum lease payments under operating leases as of December 31, 2015 are as follows (dollars in millions):
Future minimum lease payments have not been reduced by minimum sublease rentals of $2 million due in the future under noncancelable subleases.
We were named as a defendant in consolidated class action civil antitrust suits filed on February 9 and 12, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland alleging that we and our co-defendants and other alleged co-conspirators conspired to fix prices of titanium dioxide sold in the U.S. between at least March 1, 2002 and the present. The other defendants named in this matter were DuPont, Kronos and Cristal (formerly Millennium). On August 28, 2012, the court certified a class consisting of all U.S. customers who purchased titanium dioxide directly from the defendants (the "Direct Purchasers") since February 1, 2003. On December 13, 2013, we and all other defendants settled the Direct Purchasers litigation and the court approved the settlement. We paid the settlement in an amount immaterial to our consolidated financial statements.
On November 22, 2013, we were named as a defendant in a civil antitrust suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota brought by a Direct Purchaser who opted out of the Direct Purchasers class litigation (the "Opt-Out Litigation"). On April 21, 2014, the court severed the claims against us from the other defendants sued and ordered our case transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Subsequently, Kronos, another defendant, was also severed from the Minnesota case and claims against it were transferred and consolidated for trial with our case in the Southern District of Texas. The trial previously scheduled to begin February 22, 2016 has been rescheduled to begin September 26, 2016. It is possible that additional claims will be filed by other Direct Purchasers who opted out of the class litigation.
We were also named as a defendant in a class action civil antitrust suit filed on March 15, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the purchasers of products made from titanium dioxide (the "Indirect Purchasers") making essentially the same allegations as did the Direct Purchasers. On October 14, 2014, plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Class Action Complaint narrowing the class of plaintiffs to those merchants and consumers of architectural coatings containing titanium dioxide. On August 11, 2015, the court granted our motion to dismiss the Indirect Purchasers litigation with leave to amend the complaint. A Third Amended Class Action Complaint was filed on September 29, 2015 further limiting the class to consumers of architectural paints. Plaintiffs have raised state antitrust claims under the laws of 15 states, consumer protection claims under the laws of 9 states, and unjust enrichment claims under the laws of 16 states. On November 4, 2015, we and our co-defendants filed another motion to dismiss, which remains pending. The Opt-Out Litigation and Indirect Purchasers plaintiffs seek to recover injunctive relief, treble damages or the maximum damages allowed by state law, costs of suit and attorneys' fees. We are not aware of any illegal conduct by us or any of our employees. Nevertheless, we have incurred costs relating to these claims and could incur additional costs in amounts which in the aggregate could be material to us. Because of the overall complexity of these cases, we are unable to reasonably estimate any possible loss or range of loss associated with these claims and we have made no accruals with respect to these claims.
Product Delivery Claim
We have been notified by a customer of potential claims related to our alleged delivery of a different product than the one the customer had ordered. Our customer claims that it was unaware that the different product had been delivered until after that product had been used to manufacture materials which were subsequently sold. Originally, the customer stated that it had been notified of claims by its customers of up to an aggregate of €153 million (approximately $167 million) relating to this matter and claimed that we may be responsible for all or a portion of these potential claims. Our customer has since resolved some of these claims and the aggregate amount of the current claims is now approximately €113 million (approximately $123 million). Based on the facts currently available, we believe that we are insured for any liability we may ultimately have in excess of $10 million. However, no assurance can be given regarding our ultimate liability or costs. We believe our range of possible loss in this matter is between €0 and €113 million (approximately $123 million), and we have made no accrual with respect to this matter.
On July 3, 2012, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC ("the Banks") demanded that we indemnify them for claims brought against them by certain MatlinPatterson entities that were formerly our stockholders ("MatlinPatterson") in litigation filed by MatlinPatterson on June 19, 2012 in the 9th District Court in Montgomery County, Texas (the "Texas Litigation"). The Banks assert that they are entitled to indemnification pursuant to the Agreement of Compromise and Settlement between the Banks and our Company, dated June 22, 2009, wherein the Banks and our Company settled claims that we filed relating to the failed acquisition by and merger with Hexion. MatlinPatterson claims that the Banks knowingly made materially false representations about the nature of the financing for the acquisition of our Company by Hexion and that they suffered substantial loss in value to their 19 million shares of our common stock as a result thereof. MatlinPatterson is asserting statutory fraud, common law fraud and aiding and abetting statutory fraud and are seeking actual damages, exemplary damages, costs and attorney's fees and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. On December 21, 2012, the court dismissed the Texas Litigation, a decision which was affirmed by the Ninth Court of Appeals of Texas on May 15, 2014. A subsequent motion for rehearing by MatlinPatterson was denied by the same appellate court on June 12, 2014. A petition for discretionary review in the Texas Supreme Court was denied by final order entered January 7, 2016.
On July 14, 2014, the Banks demanded that we indemnify them for additional claims brought against them by certain other former Company stockholders in litigation filed June 14, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (the "Wisconsin Litigation"). The stockholders in the Wisconsin Litigation have made essentially the same allegations as MatlinPatterson made in the Texas Litigation and, additionally, have named Apollo Global Management LLC and Apollo Management Holdings, L.P. as defendants. Stockholder plaintiffs in the Wisconsin Litigation assert claims for misrepresentation and conspiracy to defraud. On April 9, 2015, the court denied the Banks' motions to dismiss the Wisconsin Litigation, which were on the same grounds asserted in the Texas Litigation, as moot. We expect the Banks to refile these motions once limited discovery related to jurisdiction is complete. We denied the Banks' indemnification demand for both the Texas Litigation and the Wisconsin Litigation.
We are a party to various other proceedings instituted by private plaintiffs, governmental authorities and others arising under provisions of applicable laws, including various environmental, products liability and other laws. Except as otherwise disclosed in this report, we do not believe that the outcome of any of these matters will have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef