Leading international investors have settled terms with the auditors involved in the collapse of Italian diary giant which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003. After the firm revealed a multi-billion Euro hold in its accounts, Parmalat became known as “Europe’s Enron”.
To settle the claims, Grant Thornton and Deloitte have agreed payments totalling $15m. Documents filed in the Manhattan federal court show Grant Thornton has agreed to pay $6.5m and Deloitte will pay $8.5m. Two Italian units of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu that served as Parmalat’s auditors agreed to a $149 million settlement in related litigation in January 2007.
In an interview with Reuters, James Sabella of Grant & Eisenhoffer, a lawyer representing investors, said that such a settlement from the big accountancy networks is a rare event. The claimants against the accountants included Hermes Focus Asset Management Europe, Cattolica Partecipazioni, Capital & Finance Asset Management, Societe Moderne des Terrassements Parisiens and Solotrat.
The settlement will still need to be approved by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who has been closely involved with much of the Parmalat-related litigation.
Parmalat Securities Litigation Case No. 04-1653