Horizon Lines struck a settlement with home improvement retailer Home Depot that will release Horizon from antitrust claims for price-fixing in the Puerto Rico shipping trade.
Home Depot was among several dozen shippers or their affiliates that opted out of class-action antitrust settlements with Horizon and two other carriers, Sea Star Line and Crowley Maritime.
The carriers previously agreed to settle the class action for a total of $52.25 million. Horizon’s share of the bill was $20 million.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Horizon released no details on the agreement with Home Depot but said Horizon will continue to provide the home-improvement retailer with transportation services.
Horizon announced in February it had reached a settlement with Wal-Mart, another of the shippers that opted out of the class action. The carrier said later it is continuing to work through the remaining shippers on the list and in some cases has offered discounts on future shipments.
The agreement with Home Depot follows last week’s announcement that Horizon’s banks had agreed to relax financial covenants under the carrier’s revolving credit facility, preserving Horizon’s access to liquidity while it refinances its debt.
The refinancing effort follows Horizon’s agreement in February to plead guilty to an antitrust charge and pay a $45 million fine that was cut to $15 million after the Justice Department said the larger fine threatened to put Horizon in default of its debt agreements.
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