This excerpt taken from the E 20-F filed Jun 24, 2005.
Syndial SpA (former EniChem SpA) - Serfactoring SpA
In 1991, Agrifactoring SpA commenced proceedings against Serfactoring SpA, a company 49% owned by Sofid SpA which is controlled by Eni SpA. The claim relates to an amount receivable of euro 182 million for fertilizer sales (plus interest and compensation for inflation), originally owed by Federconsorzi to EniChem Agricoltura SpA (later Agricoltura SpA - in liquidation), and Terni Industrie Chimiche SpA (merged into Agricoltura SpA (in liquidation), that has been merged into EniChem SpA (now Syndial SpA)). Such receivables were transferred by Agricoltura and Terni Industrie Chimiche to Serfactoring, which appointed Agrifactoring as its agent to collect payments. Agrifactoring guaranteed to pay the amount of such receivables to Serfactoring, regardless of whether or not it received payment at the due date. Following payment by Agrifactoring to Serfactoring, Agrifactoring was placed in liquidation and the liquidator of Agrifactoring commenced proceedings in 1991 against Serfactoring to recover such payments (equal to euro 182 million) made to Serfactoring based on the claim that the foregoing guarantee became invalid when Federconsorzi was itself placed in liquidation. Agricoltura and Terni Industrie Chimiche brought counterclaims against Agrifactoring (in liquidation) for damages amounting to euro 97 million relating to acts carried out by Agrifactoring SpA as agent. The amount of these counterclaims has subsequently been reduced to euro 46 million following partial payment of the original receivables by the liquidator of Federconsorzi and various setoffs. These proceedings, which have all been joined, were decided with a partial judgment, deposited on February 24, 2004: the request of Agrifactoring has been rejected and the company has been ordered to pay the sum requested by Serfactoring and damages in favor of Agricoltura, to be determined following the decision. Agrifactoring appealed against this partial decision, requesting in particular the annulment of the first step judgement, the reimbursment of the euro 180 million amount from Serfactoring along with the rejection of all its claims and the payment of all expense of the proceeding. The appeal pending will be discussed in a hearing set for March 16, 2007. The judge of the Court of Rome, responsible for the determination of the amount of damages to be paid to Serfactoring and Agricoltura decided on May 18, 2005 to suspend this determination until the publication of the decision of the Court of Appeals, in accordance with Article 295 of the Code of civil procedure.