Olivetti chief in criminal inquiry
Tuesday 17 September 1996
News of the investigation by prosecutors based in Ivrea, home of Olivetti's headquarters, sent its shares plunging to a new low and forced Italian stock market regulators to suspend dealings for the third time in a fortnight.
By the time the shares were suspended they had fallen by 10 per cent to 516 lire. Two attempts to lift the suspension and resume trading in the shares failed.
The market was also unnerved by Olivetti's abrupt cancellation of planned meetings between Mr Caio and investors in Milan and London to reassure them of the company's future and financial position.
Between 30 and 40 per cent of the shares are held in London by institutional investors who took part in a pounds 913m rescue rights issue by Olivetti last December.
Olivetti said that the meetings would now take place at the end of September when it formally publishes its first half results.
But the markets were unimpressed. "Watching Olivetti is like watching Dallas," said one Italian equity trader. "Every day there is a new sorry episode."
Mr Caio, who took over the running of the company after the resignation of its long-standing chairman Carlo De Benedetti, was added to the list of executives being investigated by two Italian judges who are examining whether the first-half accounts, showing losses of 440bn lire were falsified.
The crisis erupted when Renzo Francesconi quit as chief financial officier of Olivetti three weeks ago alleging that the extent of the group's losses had been disguised. He had only been at Olivetti for six weeks.
The Italian stock market watchdog, Consob, promptly launched an investigation and it is still unclear whether company has answered all its questions.
Mr Francesconi was interviewed by the prosecutors for nine hours last week.
He has stuck by his claims even though Olivetti has threatened legal action against him.
The criminal investigation is just one of several inquiries facing Olivetti.
It has been called before the Italian industry ministry and last week Mr Caio faced questioning by the industry committee of Italy's lower house, the senate.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...