Parmalat has been fined EUR22.2m (US$34.3m) by the Italian anti-trust authority for delays in the sale of its Newlat subsidiary.

The divesture was a condition of Parmalat's 1999 Eurolat acquisition.

At the end of April, Parmalat said that it had reached a deal to offload the unit for a symbolic EUR1 to Swiss company TMT, allowing it to deconsolidate a EUR36m of debt.

However, Italy's competition watchdog said that it was imposing the fine because Parmalat failed to meet its latest deadline of 30 October, 2007.

A Parmalat spokesperson told just-food that the company was "disappointed" by the news.

"We sold the business to comply with the ruling. We were unable to do it at an earlier date as to have done so would have resulted in a significant financial loss," a spokesperson said.