Parmalat ordered to pay Citigroup $364 mn damages

Parmalat ordered to pay Citigroup $364 mn damages

New York: Parmalat has been ordered to pay Citigroup $364 million in damages, after a New Jersey state court jury found that the bank did not aid executives in looting the Italian dairy company prior to its collapse in 2003.

Parmalat had been seeking $1.92 billion in damages in the case filed in Superior Court of Bergen County, New Jersey, claiming that Citigroup Inc. aided and abetted a breach of fiduciary duty.

“Citi is pleased with today’s verdict," said spokeswoman Andrea Hurst. “We have said from the beginning of this case that we have done nothing wrong."

The decision is subject to Parmalat’s applications to set aside the verdict in trial court, the company said in a statement. If the applications are denied, Parmalat plans to appeal the decision.

Parmalat said it continues to believe that Citigroup played an important role in contributing to its collapse, and that it will pursue all legal remedies to hold the bank accountable, including through ongoing criminal proceedings in Italy.

Parmalat, which makes milk and other dairy products and fruit-based drinks, filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Several of its former top executives have faced criminal charges from a probe into its collapse.

Shareholders had accused several banks of helping Parmalat mislead investors.

Citigroup shares rose 21 cents to close at $15.09.