Saturday, December 22, 2007

Intesa to pay $469.9 million in Parmalat settlement

Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Group said on Saturday it agreed to pay 327 million euros ($469.9 million) to settle a lawsuit brought by Parmalat over the Italian dairy company's 2003 collapse.

Intesa (ISP.MI: Quote, Profile, Research), Italy's No. 2 bank by market share, denied any wrongdoing and said it only settled the dispute to avoid prolonged and costly litigation in which Parmalat (PLT.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) had sought 3.2 billion euros in damages.

"Intesa Sanpaolo once more declares that the Group had been absolutely fair in its behavior and totally unaware of the Parmalat state of insolvency," it said in a statement.

Parmalat, Italy's biggest listed food company, buckled under about 14 billion euros ($19.15 billion) of debt after uncovering a 4 billion euro ($5.47 billion) hole in its accounts.

It was restructured and relisted on the Milan bourse in 2005, and has since successfully sued several banks that worked with the previous Parmalat management.

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