MILAN, July 30 (Reuters) - Parmalat has settled a dispute with Standard & Poor’s related to the ratings the agency had assigned to the Italian dairy group before its collapse in December 2003.
Parmalat said in a statement on Thursday it would receive a 14.5 million euro ($16 million) payment from Standard and Poor’s and would drop any further claims.
The extraordinary commissioner who oversaw Parmalat’s restructuring after its collapse had taken S&P to court in 2005, seeking more than 4 billion euros in damages.
S&P had an investment-grade rating on Parmalat until a little more than a week before the group buckled under a 14-billion-euro hole in its accounts. It then slashed the rating twice in two days to two levels above default grade.
A spokeswoman for S&P said the agency had decided to close the lengthy dispute but continued to deny having done anything wrong.
“We’re happy with the terms of the transaction ... which comes after a court in Parma last year shelved any criminal charges against S&P’s analysts,” she said.
Parmalat’s demise wiped out the savings of more than 100,000 small investors who had bought the group’s corporate bonds. ($1 = 0.9164 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)