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Standard and Poor's to pay €14.5m to settle 10-year Parmalat ratings dispute

By Mark Astley+

31-Jul-2015
Last updated on 31-Jul-2015 at 15:19 GMT2015-07-31T15:19:45Z

Standard and Poor's to pay €14.5m to settle 10-year Parmalat ratings dispute

Standard and Poor's has agreed to pay Parmalat €14.5m ($16m) to settle a dispute over ratings it issued before the Italian dairy's 2003 collapse. 

Collecchio-based Parmalat announced yesterday that after a 10-year legal battle it has reached “a full and final settlement” with Standard and Poor’s and its parent company, McGraw Hill.

The litigation, launched by Parmalat in 2005, "concerned the ratings issued by Standard and Poor's in the period before the insolvency of the Parmalat Group," Parmalat said.

The Italian dairy collapsed in December 2003 with a reported €14bn ($15.5bn) hole in its accounts. Scores of Parmalat executives were later charged and convicted for their part in the company's collapse. 

Parmalat was later rebuilt, and in 2011 it was acquired by French dairy giant Lactalis. 

It initially sought more than €4bn ($4.4bn) in damages from Standard and Poor's, but has now settled for the lesser sum of €14.5m. 

"The settlement provides a €14.5m payout by Standard and Poor's in favour of Parmalat and includes the parties' agreement that neither the settlement nor Standard and Poor's payment can be construed as an admission of liability by Standard and Poor's," Parmalat said yesterday.

"The settlement has the effect of precluding any present, future, current and/or potential claim or finding of any nature, in any case connected or related to the issues arising from the mentioned ratings of the litigation proceedings," it added.

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