A U.S. federal court has directed banks and auditors accused of contributing to Parmalat SpA’s $18 billion collapse to discuss a settlement with the Italian dairy company.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York adjourned all pretrial proceedings until Dec. 31 and instructed the parties to explore a settlement, Parmalat said in a statement.
The statement did not name the plaintiffs. But Parmalat has filed suit against the investment banks Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., and its former auditors, Deloitte & Touche and Grant Thornton, according to a Parmalat analyst presentation. The cases are set to go to trial next year.
The possibility that Parmalat could soon get compensation boosted the company’s shares by 4.8 percent to close at 3.04 euros ($3.90) on the Milan Stock Exchange.
Parmalat CEO Enrico Bondi and shareholders have filed suits in Italy and the United States seeking to recover damages from Parmalat banks, auditors and advisers, claiming they were complicit in the accounting fraud that led to Europe’s largest bankruptcy.