Parmalat has rejected a report it is involved in talks to settle a long-running legal battle with US bank Citigroup ahead of a full takeover of the Italian dairy group by majority shareholder Lactalis.

An article in Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore alleged Parmalat had held fresh talks with Citigroup in a bid to settle a legal fight arising from the dairy giant’s 2003 bankruptcy proceedings. The article said the talks centred around the possibility of Citgroup covering potential costs related to the company’s delisting from the Italian stock exchange.

However, Parmalat said in a statement it “denies the content of the article… and in particular denies the existence of negotiations with Citigroup mentioned in the article related to the pending litigations”.

Last month, Lactalis-owned holding company Sofil filed a complaint with Italy’s stock market regulator against Parmalat minority shareholder Amber Capital.

Sofil’s move came as Lactalis continued to pursue its attempt to increase its stake in Parmalat. If it takes ownership of 90% of Parmalat’s outstanding share capital, Lactalis has indicated it would then de-list from the Italian stock exchange.

Lactalis, which owns over 87% of Parmalat, acquired control of the company in 2011 after what had been seen in some quarters as a controversial pursuit of the business.

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