Enron turnaround company may help Parmalat

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Parmalat, Calisto tanzi, Bankruptcy, Italy

Parmalat, the financially troubled dairy group, has requested the
help of the turnaround company that recovered Enron's finances last
year - Kroll. The company plans to recover Parmalat's assets, and
the move justifies Parmalat's branding as the "European
Enron".

Enrico Bondi the government appointed turnaround expert hopes that Kroll will be able to recoup at least a fraction of the €14.5bn black hole discovered late last year. At present €50m has been found in Parmalat official's bank accounts including the imprisoned founder Calisto Tanzi.

Although a substantial amount of the hole was created as a result of hidden operating losses, investigators believe that hundreds of millions of unaccounted money may be lying in bank accounts in the Caymen Islands, Switzerland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Malta and the US.

Kroll is well known in the industry for tracking down hidden assets, and is moving in the realm of restructuring bankrupt companies. A spokesman for the company declined to compare this financial scandal with Enron's fraud which erupted in the US the year before the Italian giant's downfall.

The Italian government is expecting Bondi's new restructuring plan this week. While Kroll has not indicated that they wish to help restructure the fallen company - it is possible that the company is looking to reach this role.

The Italian government has hinted that it would like to preserve some of Parmalat's foreign businesses. Parmalat's accounting group, PwC, has been sifting through the accounts the company's offshore companies. Last month an Irish unit was declared insolvent the US business filed for bankruptcy and the Brazilian unit's troubles worsened. The Mexican unit however, was given the go ahead to resume operations.

Related topics: Manufacturers