Parmalat has labelled a report that an Italian court has recommended another cut to the price it paid for the US arm of majority shareholder Lactalis as "rumours".

Reuters yesterday reported a court-appointed commissioner has said there should be another US$151m reduction in the price Parmalat paid for Lactalis American Group.

Parmalat, in which Lactalis has an 82% stake, paid $904m for the business last year. However, minority shareholders in Parmalat have criticised the deal. In May, Parmalat secured an initial reduction of $130m.

Reuters has claimed it has seen a confidential report drawn up by commissioner Angelo Maranesi that recommends another drop in the price.

In a statement issued today, Parmalat said: "With regard to the rumours reported by the Reuters press agency concerning the report by Mr. Angelo Manaresi, the Commissioner ad Acta, on the LAG acquisition, according to which Mr. Angelo Manaresi is said to have defined for LAG a value that is USD 150.85 million lower than the US$774m set by the parties as the final price, Parmalat expresses its displeasure for the publication of parts of a confidential document not yet reviewed by its board of Directors, which is scheduled to meet for this purpose on 24 June.

"Consequently, Parmalat is refraining, at this point, from commenting on this matter."