Parmalat’s European shareholders are preparing to launch legal action against US banks and auditors who were allegedly involved in the 2003 financial collapse of the Italian dairy giant.

The class action suit will be filed in Milan by over 4,000 European shareholders who were blocked by a US court from pursuing compensation in the US.

“Upon their exclusion from the US class action, European investors have no other choice than to seek recovery from these entities through court actions in Europe,” Brussels-based shareholder consultancy Deminor said.

Deminor and Italian consumer group Altroconsumo are advising the shareholders.

Deminor told just-food that it has advised shareholders to seek damages from: Deloitte & Touche, Grant Thornton, Citibank, Bank of America, UBS, Nextra (currently Eurizon), Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

The shareholder consultancy added that it was currently unable to put a figure on the damages that will be sought. “At this stage it is difficult to quantify, suffice to say damages will be significant,” a spokesperson said.