Banking & Capital Markets

Citigroup: Parmalat Claims ”Unfounded”

Enrico Bondi ''has relied on a collection of fundamental misrepresentations, misunderstandings and factual errors,'' according to the bank.
Stephen TaubNovember 2, 2004

Citigroup Inc. has taken the offensive against Enrico Bondi, the chairman and the special administrator for fallen Italian food giant Parmalat Finanziaria SpA.

Bondi has alleged in a lawsuit, filed in July, that Citigroup helped defraud Parmalat, its shareholders, and its creditors of billions of dollars, according to Reuters. Accordingly, Bondi rejected more than $676 million in bankruptcy claims filed by the world’s largest financial services company.

On Monday, Citigroup stated that its filing with the Court of Parma shows that Bondi “has presented no credible evidence that substantiates his allegations of wrongdoing — nor could he. The accounting investigation conducted by Ms. Stefania Chiaruttini, on which [Bondi’s] allegations appear to be based, is flawed and misleading.”

The bank added that Bondi’s July lawsuit alleges “without any legitimate factual support” that Citigroup knew about Parmalat’s conduct and precarious financial position and helped Parmalat conceal the truth from the investing public. “The basis for this allegation…makes plain that [Bondi] has relied on a collection of fundamental misrepresentations, misunderstandings and factual errors.” Therefore, added the bank, he has “no credible evidence” to justify rejecting Citigroup’s bankruptcy claims, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Grant Thornton International and Bank of America — which are also the targets of separate $10 billion lawsuits by Parmalat for their alleged roles in the company’s collapse — filed motions in New York court late last week, asking to file countersuits, according to Reuters.