February 7, 2018 / 11:57 AM / 10 months ago

Milan court throws out Parmalat's $2.2 billion Citi claim

MILAN (Reuters) - A Milan court has thrown out a 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion) claim by Italy’s Parmalat against Citigroup, the U.S. bank said on Wednesday, in a case relating to the dairy group’s 2003 collapse.

“The Court of Milan has granted Citigroup’s motion to dismiss in its entirety a civil claim for 1.8 billion euros,” the U.S. bank said in a statement.

Citi said the court had ruled the claim duplicated one already brought in 2008 by a court in New Jersey which was dismissed as “unmeritorious”, adding it should not be allowed to proceed in the Italian courts.

Parmalat said in a statement it considered the Milan court’s decision “mistaken and unfair”, adding it would appeal.

The Italian dairy group was relaunched in 2005 after going bankrupt following a financial scandal two years earlier. It was taken over by France’s Lactalis in 2011.

When Lactalis last year launched a bid for the Parmalat shares it did not own, minority shareholders said the price offered was too low, in part because of the potential cash-in from the lawsuit.

Citigroup was advised by law firm Clifford & Chance.

($1 = 0.8098 euros)

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; editing by Stephen Jewkes and Alexander Smith

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