29 March, Milano Finanza
A new chapter in the battle between Danilo Coppola and Banco Bpm. After having contested the role of the bank in the bankruptcy of Porta Vittoria, the developer and his lawyers are back again with another dispute, concerning the Cicerone Hotel in Rome this time. On 5th April there will be new hearing for the trial started last November for the company Cicerone sarl. At the centre of the dispute, there is the hotel located few steps away from the Vatican that Coppola acquired in 2004 for 70 million from the Roma FC then-president Franco Sensi. The events that followed compromised the relations with Banco Popolare, bringing to their termination. The operation was meant to be financed by a leasing contract for the total amount of several hundred million issued by the former Banca Italease which was reorganized in 2010. The battle between the debtor and the bank continued till 2015 when the contract terminated due to the lack of agreement. In the same year, during the proceeding for the agreement among creditors by the Court of Milan, Coppola tried to acquire the hotel but failed. To the point that, in August of the same year, Cicerone sarl and Porta Vittoria sued Release and Banco Bpm, claiming that the debt reorganization agreement was void. In that case, however, the judgment ended after the bankruptcy of Porta Vittoria. Last November Coppola was back again, basically repeating the same strategy of the first initiative. In the meanwhile, Banco Bpm merged with Popolare di Milano. This time the new group Banco Bpm and Release, the bad bank created from the former Italease, have been sued. More in detail, the lawyers of the developer (Matteo Ghisalberti and Marco De Rossi from the Rome legal firm Ghisalberti & De Rossi) ask to “declare the validity of the original financial lease contract dated 29th November 2004, along with a compensation for damages for about 45 million”, as explained by Banco Bpm. While the bank defends its reasons, we’ll have to wait for the judgement of the court.
For some aspects, however, the dispute is very similar to the one concerning Porta Vittoria. In that case, Coppola and his lawyers accused Banco Bpm to have had a management and coordination role in the group, allegations that were denied by the bank.
Source: Milano Finanza
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi