Parmalat confirmed in early October it had received an injunction from the Parma Court for a hearing on 26 October

Parmalat confirmed in early October it had received an injunction from the Parma Court for a hearing on 26 October

Parmalat is preparing to face a final hearing over the acquisition of the Americas business of majority shareholder Lactalis.

The Italian dairy giant is being questioned over the use of a portion of the cash it used to finance the acquisition, which was finalised in July.

An initial hearing was held in October and the case is due to be finalised in two final hearings on 17 and 21 December. Italian Stock Exchange Authority Consob and minority shareholders Fidelity, Gamco and Amber have asked Lactalis to provide further clarifications on the price of the acquisition, the rationale for the deal and the synergies it hopes to generate.

A spokesperson for Parmalat told just-food today the jury will have 45 days to reach a conclusion once the hearing ends on 21 December.

"They will either reach a decision or order an inspection," the spokesperson said. "Parmalat is confident of a positive response from the judges because they will have an opportunity to speak with members of the [Lactalis] board and see that everything was done only in the interest of the company. It is not a financially driven group, it's an industrial group so what is done is in the interest of the company, its employees, workers and shareholders."