Parmalat Investment Funds Said to Propose Rossi as Interim Chief Executive
Bloomberg - Mar 10th 2011, 00:00
Massimo Rossi, a former manager at Swedish Match AB, will be proposed as an interim chief executive officer of Parmalat SpA (PLT) by a group of investors, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Three funds that own 15.3 percent of Parmalat, Italy’s biggest dairy company, may announce their list of board candidates as early as today, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private.
Mackenzie Financial Corp., Skagen AS and Zenit Asset Management AB are proposing a new board and management team that would consider acquisitions. Parmalat, which pioneered long-life milk in the 1960s, holds its annual meeting in April, when the board’s election takes place.
Under CEO Enrico Bondi, Parmalat has recovered about 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in legal settlements from banks and auditors that the company accused of sustaining fraud that led to its 2003 bankruptcy filing. The Italian government appointed Bondi, a turnaround specialist, as the company’s administrator when it collapsed in Italy’s biggest bankruptcy case.
Amid a decade of consolidation in the European dairy industry, Parmalat has made three purchases since returning to the stock market, the largest of which was spending about $54 million to buy some fresh milk operations from Australia’s National Foods Ltd., according to Bloomberg data.
Rossi joined Swedish Match, Europe’s largest maker of smokeless tobacco products, in 1975 and retired from the company at the age of 62, according to a Sept. 10, 2004 article published on its website. His specialty during the tenure was acquisitions and divestments. “I have divested and acquired about 80 companies during my time at Swedish Match,” he was quoted as saying in the article.
Attempts to reach Rossi weren’t immediately successful. A Parmalat official at the company’s headquarters in Collechio, Italy, had no immediate comment.
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