Italian food group Parmalat has filed a lawsuit against banking firm Citigroup and some of its subsidiaries in an attempt to recover some of the money it paid to its former bankers before the company went insolvent last December.

The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey, seeks damages of US$10bn, Reuters reported, citing financial sources. The suit alleges that Citigroup helped Parmalat cover up its debts while encouraging investors to buy its bonds.

"We have not had an opportunity to review the lawsuit and are unable to comment on it. However, Citigroup lost hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of Parmalat's fraudulent conduct, and we will continue to pursue our substantial claims against the company and defend against frivolous claims in search of a deep pocket," Citigroup was quoted by Reuters as saying.