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Milan Court Rules Fin.part’s Bankrupt

A court here declared Fin.part bankrupt, ending a two-year saga of financial difficulties that included the resignation of founder Gianluigi Facchini, mounting debts, bond defaults and investigations into alleged insider trading.

MILAN — A court here declared Fin.part bankrupt, ending a two-year saga of financial difficulties that included the resignation of founder Gianluigi Facchini, mounting debts, bond defaults and investigations into alleged insider trading.

A Fin.part spokeswoman said it is consulting with its lawyers to determine if it can pursue any appeal or legal alternative.

Milan prosecutor Eugenio Fusco could not be reached for further comment on Wednesday.

Fin.part and prosecutors had battled one another in the courts for months. Despite the company’s myriad attempts at refinancing, Fin.part didn’t come up with the funds needed to convince the courts to let it continue operating.

It also failed to win over stock market regulator Consob. Late last month, Consob blocked Fin.part’s planned bond/share swap offer, a critical part of the company’s restructuring plan after Fin.part said last year it was heading for a default on 211 million euros, or $255 million, in bonds.

Fin.part said Wednesday it would no longer appeal the Consob decision since it is entering bankruptcy proceedings.

The court decision voids any of Fin.part’s pending asset disposals, namely an agreement to sell Cerruti to men’s wear company Manifattura Paoloni. A preliminary deal was inked in July. A Paoloni spokesman said the company is still interested in buying Cerruti and is consulting with its lawyers about future options. But much will depend on the court-appointed curator who will oversee the future of Fin.part’s assets.

This story first appeared in the October 27, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.