Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui has said it has been granted a court injunction blocking Parmalat's Brazilian unit from selling any of its businesses to help the Italian food group pay off debts.

Claudio Grimaldi, general manager of the legal department of Banco Sumitomo Mitsui Brasileiro, said the bank is a creditor of Parmalat Brasil Industria de Alimentos and wanted the company to remain operating, reported Reuters.

"The idea is to prevent the sale of the assets of the company and the cash going abroad," Grimaldi told Reuters. "We do not intend to paralyse the company. We want it to remain active." 

Parmalat Brasil's Italian parent filed for bankruptcy in December after a billion-euro hole was discovered in its accounts.