Note J: Contingent liabilities
Akzo Nobel N.V. is parent of the group’s fiscal unity in the Netherlands, and is therefore liable for the liabilities of said fiscal unity as a whole.
Akzo Nobel N.V. has declared in writing that it accepts joint and several liability for contractual debts of certain Dutch consolidated companies (Article 403 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code). These debts, at year-end 2020, aggregating €0.4 billion (2019: €0.4 billion), are included in the Consolidated balance sheet.
Akzo Nobel N.V. has withdrawn its declarations of joint and several liability under Article 403 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code for certain Dutch former Specialty Chemicals subsidiaries divested as per October 1, 2018 and is following the procedures to terminate its residual liability under those declarations under Article 404 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code. One objection against the termination of residual liability is still pending and Akzo Nobel N.V. and Nouryon continue to cooperate to get this resolved.
Additionally, at year-end 2020, guarantees were issued on behalf of consolidated companies for an amount of €0.3 billion (2019: €0.3 billion).
The debts and liabilities of the consolidated companies underlying these guarantees are included in the Consolidated balance sheet.
A number of claims against Akzo Nobel N.V. are pending, all of which are contested. This includes a lawsuit filed in April 2019, by PT DWI Satrya Utama (PTDSU) against Akzo Nobel N.V., certain subsidiaries as well as certain subsidiary directors at the Tangerang District Court, Indonesia. PTDSU owns a 45% interest in PT ICI Paints Indonesia (PTICIPI), an indirect subsidiary of Akzo Nobel N.V.. PTDSU alleges that it suffered damages as a result of defendants improper management of PTICIPI. In March 2020, the District Court dismissed the case on the grounds that they do not have jurisdiction, against which the claimant appealed. In January 2021, the High Court of Indonesia rejected this appeal.