Financial impact reflected in previously announced fourth-quarter 2019 results
ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–3M and Wolverine World Wide, Inc. have reached an agreement to address PFAS in the environment in Michigan’s Plainfield and Algoma Townships. This agreement resolves legal claims between the two companies and pertains only to the lawsuit between Wolverine and 3M.
“Environmental stewardship is core to 3M, and we are committed to developing and contributing to PFAS solutions guided by sound science, responsibility and transparency,” said John Banovetz, senior vice president, Innovation & Stewardship and Chief Technology Officer. “This agreement will support Wolverine’s work with the State of Michigan to conduct previously announced and continuing investigation and remediation activities, which will improve water infrastructure and treatment in certain communities in western Michigan.”
Under the terms of the settlement, 3M will make a fixed financial contribution of $55 million to support Wolverine’s past and ongoing efforts to address PFAS remediation under Wolverine’s Consent Decree with the state of Michigan. This amount was part of 3M’s fourth-quarter significant litigation-related charge that was discussed during its January 28, 2020, earnings conference call and included in the recently filed Form 10-K. 3M will not be responsible for any additional response costs incurred in connection with the Consent Decree. Wolverine reflected incremental environmental remediation costs of $113 million and has stated that “actual amounts could differ significantly in the future as circumstances evolve.”
To date, 3M has invested more than $100 million in testing water sources around the country to better understand the quality of both groundwater and drinking water in communities, and more than $50 million toward installing carbon filtration systems for drinking water sources. We will continue to invest in cutting-edge technology and work with communities to identify where this technology can make a difference. 3M will continue to dedicate time and resources to researching PFAS.
This news release contains forward-looking information about 3M’s financial results and estimates and business prospects that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. You can identify these statements by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “aim,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “target,” “forecast” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance or business plans or prospects. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: (1) worldwide economic, political, regulatory, capital markets and other external conditions and other factors beyond the Company’s control, including natural and other disasters or climate change affecting the operations of the Company or its customers and suppliers; (2) liabilities related to certain fluorochemicals, including lawsuits concerning various PFAS-related products and chemistries, and claims and governmental regulatory proceedings and inquiries related to PFAS in a variety of jurisdictions; (3) legal proceedings, including significant developments that could occur in the legal and regulatory proceedings described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019, and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q (the “Reports”); (4) competitive conditions and customer preferences; (5) foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations in those rates; (6) the timing and market acceptance of new product offerings; (7) the availability and cost of purchased components, compounds, raw materials and energy (including oil and natural gas and their derivatives) due to shortages, increased demand or supply interruptions (including those caused by natural and other disasters and other events); (8) unanticipated problems or delays with the phased implementation of a global enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or security breaches and other disruptions to the Company’s information technology infrastructure; (9) the impact of acquisitions, strategic alliances, divestitures, and other unusual events resulting from portfolio management actions and other evolving business strategies, and possible organizational restructuring; (10) operational execution, including scenarios where the Company generates fewer productivity improvements than estimated; (11) financial market risks that may affect the Company’s funding obligations under defined benefit pension and postretirement plans; and (12) the Company’s credit ratings and its cost of capital. Changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results. A further description of these factors is located in the Reports under “Cautionary Note Concerning Factors That May Affect Future Results” and “Risk Factors” in Part I, Items 1 and 1A (Annual Report) and in Part I, Item 2 and Part II, Item 1A (Quarterly Reports). The information contained in this news release is as of the date indicated. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this news release as a result of new information or future events or developments.
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.
Fanna Haile-Selassie, 651-736-0876
Bruce Jermeland, 651-733-1807
Tony Riter, 651-733-1141