A US federal judge has approved a US$50m settlement between Credit Suisse Group Banca Nazionale del Lavoro and shareholders of the Italian food group Parmalat.

Reports in the US said that US District Judge Lewis Kaplan had given a final approval to the settlement, under which Credit Suisse and Italy's bank BNL will each pay US$25m. It was also thought that the judge approved a reimbursement of $6m to the plaintiff's attorneys.

Shareholders have been seeking to recover damages from Parmalat Finanziaria SpA's auditors and bankers, whom they claim were complicit in an accounting fraud that linked to Parmalat's 2003 collapse under massive debt.

In June, the Italian dairy giant itself settled claims related to its 2003 collapse with three banks for EUR72m (US$96.5m).