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Funds propose candidates for Parmalat board
March 11, 2011 / 7:28 PM / 7 years ago

Funds propose candidates for Parmalat board

MILAN, March 11 (Reuters) - Activist funds aiming to overhaul the board of Italian dairy group Parmalat (PLT.MI) in a bid to boost growth named a slate of nine directors on Friday.

Investment funds Mackenzie Financial Corp, part of Canada’s IGM Financial (IGM.TO); Norway’s Skagen AS; and Zenit Asset Management AB want to revamp the 11-member board when shareholders of Parmalat, one of Italy’s leading food companies, meet on April 12.

The funds hold a combined 15.2 percent of Parmalat and have said they want to boost growth and shareholder value. [ID:nLDE70P1IS]

The three funds have nominated Rainer Masera, 66, the head of the economics department at Rome’s Guglielmo Marconi University, to be chairman, they said in an e-mailed statement.

The funds nominated Massimo Rossi, 68, a former chief executive of Swedish Match (SWMA.ST), to be deputy chairman. He also would serve as interim chief executive until a replacement for current CEO Enrico Bondi was found, the statement said.

The funds have pushed Bondi, the architect of Parmalat’s rebirth after its high-profile collapse in 2003, to grow the dairy group through acquisitions.

On March 2, the funds denied a newspaper report that they were talking to French dairy group Lactelis or any other party about a sale of their stake. [ID:nLDE7210RU]

Two Brazilian newspapers reported on Thursday that Parmalat was holding merger talks with food group Lacteos Brasil in a deal valued at up to $3.4 billion.

Lacteos Brasil is majority owned by Laep Investments MILK11.SA and GP Investments GPIV11.SA, the biggest Latin American private-equity firm. [ID:nN1097527]

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bernard Orr

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