ITALY: Prosecutors call for removal of Parmalat board
Prosecutors want court-backed administrator to run Parmalat for up to five months
A court in Parma is today (1 March) hearing arguments for Parmalat to be run by a judicial administrator for the next four to five months.
Prosecutor Gerardo Laguardia told reporters the time under a judicial administrator was "needed to implement the necessary actions for the acquisition contract of Lactalis in the United States to be declared nul and void", according to Reuters.
Parmalat's US$904m acquisition of Lactalis American Group last year has been criticised by minority shareholders in the Italian dairy giant. The investors argue the deal was not in the interests of all the shareholders in Parmalat, which is majority-owned by French dairy group Lactalis.
The court has 30 days in which to decide on the prosecutors' request. Parmalat has refused to comment on the application, although it has in recent months defended the acquisition of Lactalis American Group.
Lactalis bought 83.3% of Parmalat in 2011 for EUR3.4bn (US$4.43bn), a deal that was opposed by some in Italy who wanted to keep the company in domestic hands.
Speculation over the future ownership of Indian dairy firm Tirumala Milk Products is intensifying, with Danone and Lactalis reported to have made offers to take control of the business....
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"....
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