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Swedish Packaging Company Denies Payments to Former Parmalat Chief - 2004-01-13


A Swedish packaging company is denying reports it paid millions of dollars directly to the former head of Parmalat, the huge, insolvent Italian dairy company now mired in scandal.

A spokesman for Tetra Pak says the Swedish firm has investigated the last few years of payments to Parmalat and found none to Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi, his family or other individuals.

The company was reacting to an Italian news report saying millions of dollars from Tetra Pak went directly to Mr. Tanzi rather than to Parmalat accounts.

Tetra Pak supplies hundreds of millions of dollars worth of packaging to the dairy company and says it gives the same marketing subsidies and discount payments to Parmalat as other major customers.

The Swedish company promised to cooperate with Italian officials investigating the collapse of Parmalat.

Prosecutors are seeking the billions of dollars missing from Parmalat's balance sheet, and have detained nine executives associated with the insolvent company.