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SOL - Sasol Nitro settlement and Sasol competition law compliance review

Release Date: 06/05/2009 09:01:23      Code(s): SOL
SOL - Sasol Nitro settlement and Sasol competition law compliance review        
Sasol Limited                                                                   
(Incorporated in South Africa)                                                  
(Registration number: 1979/003231/06)                                           
ISIN Code: ZAE000006896                                                         
Share Code: SOL                                                                 
NYSE Code: SSL                                                                  
Sasol Nitro settlement and Sasol competition law compliance review              
Sasol announced in January 2009 that as part of the Group`s ongoing legal       
compliance programme Sasol Limited had initiated a comprehensive competition    
law compliance review of all Sasol businesses in July 2008.                     
As previously announced Sasol will, in the course of conducting the             
competition law compliance review, adopt appropriate remedial steps and make    
disclosures on material findings and developments as and when appropriate.      
These activities are still in progress across all of Sasol`s businesses.        
Although it was envisaged in January 2009 that the review process would be      
completed during the first half of 2009 current progress indicates that the     
review should be completed in the second half of 2009.                          
Although the competition law compliance review of Sasol Nitro has not been      
completed in all respects, Sasol is now in a position to disclose the           
following material developments in respect of the phosphoric acid and           
fertiliser businesses of Sasol Nitro.                                           
As indicated in our announcement made in January 2009, additional information   
has been revealed by the competition law compliance review process relevant to  
previously disclosed competition law legal proceedings in respect of the Nutri- 
Flo matter and the phosphoric acid investigation (see pages 179 - 181 of the    
2008 Annual Financial Statements and pages 75 - 77 of the 2008 Annual Report    
submitted on Form 20-F to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission  
for the previous public disclosures in these matters) and that settlement       
discussions had commenced with the South African Competition Commission.        
These discussions with the Competition Commission have progressed to the        
extent that a settlement agreement has been concluded with the Competition      
Commission. Subject to confirmation by the Competition Tribunal, the agreement  
will have the effect of a full and final settlement and conclusion of all       
proceedings between the Commission and Sasol Chemical Industries Limited        
relating to any alleged contraventions by Sasol Chemical Industries Limited     
(Sasol Nitro division) of section 4(1)(b) (prohibiting collusive conduct) of    
the South African Competition Act that were the subject of the Commission`s     
investigations in respect of the Nutri-Flo matter (under case numbers           
31/CR/May05) and the phosphoric acid investigation (under  2007Aug3147 and      
2007Dec3382). In terms of the agreement Sasol Chemical Industries Limited will  
pay an administrative penalty of R188, 01 million. Provisions raised this       
financial year are sufficient to cover this administrative penalty.             
Steps have been taken by Sasol Nitro to address these areas of non-compliance.  
The allegations by the Competition Commission relating to excessive pricing     
and exclusionary conduct flowing from the Nutri-Flo and Profert complaints are  
not, however, part of the settlement agreement. Sasol has been in discussions   
with the Commission about these matters and hope to resume discussions at an    
opportune time. These matters have not proceeded sufficiently to assess any     
potential adverse financial impact with reasonable accuracy.                    
Shareholders` attention is drawn to the media release attached to this          
announcement regarding the above settlement agreement.                          
6 May 2009                                                                      
Issued by sponsor: Deutsche Securities (SA) (Proprietary) Limited               
Forward-looking statements: In this document we make certain statements that    
are not historical facts and relate to analyses and other information based on  
forecasts of future results not yet determinable, relating, amongst other       
things, to exchange rate fluctuations, volume growth, increases in market       
share, total shareholder return and cost reductions. These are forward-looking  
statements as defined in the United States Private Securities Litigation        
Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "believe", "anticipate", "intend", "seek",    
"will", "plan", "could", "may", "endeavour" and "project" and similar           
expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are   
not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Forward-looking         
statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and, if one or more of      
these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect,      
actual results may be very different from those anticipated. The factors that   
could cause our actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking   
statements are discussed more fully in our annual reports under the Securities  
Exchange Act of 1934 on Form 20-F filed on 21 November 2007 and 08 October      
2008 in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange            
Commission. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date on which they  
are made, and Sasol does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any   
of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.    
SASOL MEDIA RELEASE                                                             
Sasol settles with Competition Commission regarding allegations of collusion    
in its fertiliser and phosphoric acid businesses                                
Sasol Nitro, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries Limited, has reached a     
settlement agreement with the Competition Commission of South Africa, relating  
to its fertiliser and phosphoric acid businesses. The agreement is subject to   
confirmation by the Competition Tribunal.                                       
In January this year, Sasol announced that as part of its ongoing legal         
compliance programme, Sasol Limited initiated a competition law compliance      
review in July 2008 of all Sasol businesses. The competition law compliance     
review proactively analyses business activities across Sasol Limited and its    
subsidiaries to ensure that such activities are compliant. Although it was      
envisaged in January 2009 that the review process would be completed during     
the first half of 2009 current progress indicates that the review should be     
completed in the second half of 2009.                                           
"We announced at the start of this year that the compliance review is           
rigorously scrutinising all our businesses and that in some areas problems of   
potential non-compliance had been identified. We have worked closely with the   
Competition Commission in seeking resolution to these matters and while this    
settlement agreement is an important step, there is much work ahead and we      
remain committed to following through on each matter in order to achieve full   
compliance," Sasol chief executive Pat Davies said.                             
As a result of findings by the internal competition law compliance review,      
Sasol engaged with the Competition Commission in December 2008, with the        
intent to settle the Sasol Nitro matters including alleged collusive conduct    
in the fertiliser business, issues referred to the Competition Tribunal by      
Nutri-Flo and Profert as well as issues related to phosphoric acid.             
The settlement agreement relates to matters of alleged collusion. Sasol and     
the Commission remain in discussion regarding outstanding allegations of abuse  
of dominance.                                                                   
Fertiliser business                                                             
During December 2008, Sasol`s internal competition law compliance review        
revealed evidence of potentially collusive conduct in the fertiliser business   
of Sasol Nitro. The matter was reported to the Competition Commission by Sasol  
management when they became aware of the conduct.                               
The review indicated that the conduct in respect of fertilisers ceased in 2004  
and although these activities are not identical to those referred to in the     
Nutri-Flo matter a further review concluded that committees were set up to      
coordinate business practices, derive forecasted market shares and ensure       
balance of supply and demand. Accordingly, Sasol entered into settlement        
discussions with the Commission in respect of the Nutri-Flo matter.             
The remainder of the Nutri-Flo matter and the Profert matter, which deal with   
allegations of abuse of dominance in the market place, form the subject-matter  
of continuing engagement between Sasol and the Competition Commission.          
Phosphoric acid business                                                        
In August of 2007, the Competition Commission initiated a complaint against     
Foskor and Sasol relating to possible contraventions of the Competition Act in  
respect of phosphoric acid. The complaint against Sasol related to its          
agreement  with Foskor which was concluded to ensure the continued viability    
of Sasol`s Phalaborwa phosphoric acid operations and was not intended to        
breach any competition laws. Upon receiving external legal advice, Sasol        
concluded that certain provisions of these agreements may be a contravention    
of the Competition Act. The restrictive clause within the agreement was         
terminated in 2007.                                                             
Settlement conclusion                                                           
An administrative penalty of the amount of R188,01 million has been agreed by   
Sasol and the Competition Commission.                                           
While many of these activities took place and then ceased some years ago,       
Sasol deeply regrets that these activities occurred. Sasol remains committed    
to rooting out any non-compliance within its businesses and to achieving full   
compliance with all legislation.                                                
"The conduct, identified in these investigations of the Sasol Nitro business,   
is unacceptable and runs counter to our Sasol values," said Sasol Nitro MD,     
Marius Brand.                                                                   
"This settlement agreement is an important step and we are looking forward to   
concluding outstanding matters," Brand said.                                    
Issued by:                                                                      
Jacqui O`Sullivan                                                               
Sasol: group communication manager                                              
Tel: +27 11 441 3252                                                            
Fax: +27 11 522 9994                                                            
Mobile: +27 82 883 9697                                                         
Email: jacqui.osullivan@sasol.com                                               
Date: 06/05/2009 09:01:23 Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za                     
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