M6 – (Taba)

After a bit of research, I found out about the company from Italy called Parmalat. The company name refers to the Italian town, Parma, and the Italian word for milk, latte. We in the United States know of Parma from the cheese, and prosciutto ham. Calisto Tanzi came from 3 generations of proscuitto production. His “entreprenurial break’ came from UHT, ultra hot temperature, which is a way of producing milk that does not require refrigeration, therefore producing longer lasting milk. It was a huge hit with citizens Europe-wide. The Tanzi family was nicknamed “Italian royalty’, always acting in a humble and approachable manner, never flaunting fame or fortune, creating intense loyalty of support. Once used as a successful model in European business schools, failed ventures, however, were kept secret from the public and investors. They had a multitude of shell companies tied to various fiscal safe havens that helped the misbelief continue. After being audited, it was discovered that Parmalat and its daughter companies were not only bankrupt, but almost $20 billion in debt to Bank of America, Citigroup, and a number of other banks. There were also various personal accounts tied to Tanzi family members, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.