December 8, 2017
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
Nippon Koshuha Steel Co., Ltd.
Shinko Wire Company, Ltd.
A civil complaint has been filed against Kobe Steel, Ltd., Shinko Metal Products Co., Ltd. (90% of its equity held by Kobe Steel), Shinko Aluminum Wire Co., Ltd. (98.75% of its equity held by Kobe Steel), Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube, Ltd. (55% of its equity held by Kobe Steel), and Nippon Koshuha Steel Co., Ltd. (51.6% of its equity held by Kobe Steel), all of which are the subsidiaries of Kobe Steel, and Shinko Wire Company, Ltd., (wholly owned subsidiary of Shinko Wire Stainless Company, Ltd., 30.7% of its equity held by Kobe Steel) (hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Kobe Group") on November 21, 2017 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and on November 22, 2017 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (hereinafter referred to collectively as the "Lawsuits") both of which have been filed regarding the metal products produced for automobiles by the Kobe Group (hereinafter referred to as "Products"). While we recognize that the complaint was made accessible on the electronic court registries of British Columbia and Ontario on November 25 and 28, respectively, we considered until today the implication of the same under the applicable systems of the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.
The plaintiffs brought these Lawsuits, alleging that they are the purchasers of the Products or the vehicles manufactured with the Products and were overcharged for the Products or the vehicles and suffered economic harm because the Products did not satisfy the applicable standards specified by the customers and for which the customers paid, etc.
The Plaintiffs have sought to bring this claim as a class action. The amount in controversy has not been specified in either of the complaints.
As of December 7, 2017, the Kobe Group have not officially been in receipt of service of any complaints regarding the Lawsuits and understand that any court proceeding effective to them has not commenced. It is uncertain whether any official complaints will be served in future.
If a complaint is officially served, the Kobe Group will take appropriate measures to defend vigorously the Lawsuits.
We anticipate that in the future similar lawsuits will be filed against the Kobe Group or the other affiliated group companies.
We do not have a forecast of how the Lawsuits will affect the revenue and growth. We will make a public statement when we obtain the forecast.