Parmalat Finanziaria SpA Accounting Scandal Short Summary

Table of Content

Background of the company

Parmalat Finanziaria SpA, an Italian nutrient giant started out as a household concern specialising in dairy merchandises. It was founded in 1961 by 22 twelvemonth old Calisto Tanzi, who discontinued his surveies to spread out his male parent ‘s sausage and cheese store. It began as a little pasteurisation works in Parma and farther expanded into cheese, yogurt, cookies, fruit juice and ready-made sauce production that are under different names in each state. They were the 1s to bring forth the universe ‘s first shelf stable milk ( tetra battalion ) which became an instant success.

This company, headquartered at Parma, Italy has expanded from 6 into 31 states across six continents in 1990 and so was listed on Milan Stock Exchange. It was the 8th largest industrial group and contributed to 0.8 % of the state ‘s GDP. Around 36000 workers and 6000 dairy farms depended on Parmalat.

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The company had to alter its external hearer from Grant Thornton to DeLoitte and Touche in 1999 as Italian jurisprudence states that alterations in audit houses has to happen every nine old ages though the old hearer can be consulted for concerns related to the house. This was the chief ground the dirt came to visible radiation.

In 2003, the house tried to raise 300 Million in the signifier of bonds and was badly penalized. Hence it was under increased examination of the investors as it was to a great extent indebted and capitalized. This was one of the really first indicants of the crisis state of affairs that was prevalent. Besides uncertainties were raised by the Deloitte & A ; Touche accountant sing the 478 Million investing made in a Cayman Islands-based common fund, Epicurum ( represented by a jurisprudence house, Zini & A ; Associates ) .

The going of two Chief Financial Officers in a span of six months and the increasing debt degree created major concern amongst the investors and analysts. Analysts were puzzled that Parmalat was droping in its nucleus concern inspite of holding liquid assets of 4.2 billion.

Downfall of the company

On 14 December 2003, the company ‘s inability to repeat its declared hard currency of approximately $ 3.95 billion in assets ( under Bonlat subordinate, Cayman Islands ) from a Bank of America ( BOA ) papers ( in a New York history ) for the payment of a bond led to the find of a hole of $ 14 billion in its histories. This papers was scanned, added to another papers holding a $ 4 billion with the same bank and farther passed through a facsimile machine to keep the genuineness. The bank reported it as a falsified papers.

This alleged accounting fraud forced the laminitis and president of Parmalat, Calisto Tanzi to vacate under force per unit area. Further the duty of the direction was handed by the Italian Bankss to Enrico Bondi ( who had an earlier experience in delivering Montedison Food and Chemicals Groups from its bankruptcy ) who proposed for the debts of international loaners to be converted into stock so they could hold a voice in the house ‘s waies.

The Italian authorities ‘s initial promise to bail out Parmalat was dexterously withdrawn. Alternatively some exigency bankruptcy statute laws were enacted to screen the company from its creditors, therefore helping the house to reconstitute and go on its concern fleetly. Three yearss subsequently the company was named bankrupt and eligible for bankruptcy. Hours subsequently the Parmalat laminitis and president, Tanzi was detained on condemnable association intuition. Two probe squads probed into the house ‘s books to see how the house was able to run its concern based on the bogus fiscal statements and the bank ‘s function was probed by the Italian fiscal constabulary, the Manhattan District Attorney and the US Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) .

Parmalat had made many acquisitions chiefly in North and South America which led to big bank debts chiefly through BOA, Citicorp, and JP Morgan Chase. Initially these debts were covered by high involvement barter derived functions and subsequently on from the off shore shell companies like Citibank subordinate through falsely created bonds to make liquidness in its books. These illegal activities started when Parmalat ‘s stocks went public.

Grant Thornton suggested Parmalat to utilize spun-off concerns ( false histories ) so that illicit payments owed to the house by the subordinates could be recorded unwittingly by DeLoitte and Touche house. This loophole in the jurisprudence enabled it to bring forth bogus net incomes for the house.

Key Players in the dirt

  • Calisto Tanzi – 10 twelvemonth sentence for market tackle, accounting fraud ( 2009 )
  • Fausto Tonna, CFO – 2 twelvemonth sentence for counterfeit, making many offshore companies
  • Grant Thornton house – cases filed dismissed in 2009
  • Deloitte and Touche house
  • BOA – helped Parmalat get $ 170 million ; case filed dismissed in 2009
  • Citicorp – Parmalat was ordered to pay $ 364.2 million
  • Swiss bank UBS – 357.5 million in colonies

Some cases were charged by Enrico Bondi to retrieve several hundred million dollars.

Repercussions and reforms

One of the impacts this dirt created was a slack in the house ‘s stock market ( 1.8 billion before the dirt ) – portions became about worthless and a face value of merely 20 % was allotted for its bonds. This crisp bead and the failure of the company in refunds led to a lower evaluation by S & A ; P ( Standard & A ; Poor ) . Assorted parties were affected -the employees across assorted states who lost their occupations, Brazilian and Australian dairy husbandmans non paid for the delivered milk and investors. In 2005, Parmalat was restructured and relisted under Milan Stock Exchange after its assorted concerns was valued at 2.95 billion and market capitalisation at 5 billion.

To find the flourishing companies, the foremost alteration was reconstituting the governmental inadvertences of corporations to advance corporate transparence. Further a agency was created to supervise the Italian fiscal markets. Italy formed watchdog groups which were earlier formed by the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board after dirts like Enron, WorldCom etc. Some other patterns introduced is the dictums made by hearers on the internal accounting practises of their several houses named Basle II and a capital adequateness regulation that determines capital adequateness that shifts to recognition hazard maintaining in head the legion fiscal catastrophes in the last 15 old ages.

The fact that Parmalat is a planetary consumer trade name is one of the grounds for the dirt being dramatic and labelled Europe ‘s Enron. This dirt has besides been labelled as one of the most corporate fiscal frauds in history. Further it wiped out 135,000 people ‘s nest eggs doing it one of the largest fiscal frauds in history. For a period of clip the house ‘s fiscal systems wholly eluded the analysts ‘ apprehension as the company ‘s consequences were n’t really crystalline and the true extent of its liabilities were hard to cipher.


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Parmalat Finanziaria SpA Accounting Scandal Short Summary. (2016, Nov 15). Retrieved from

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