Parmalat, the Italian food giant, undertook its first bond-related roadshow last month. The event was billed as purely a marketing exercise rather than a deal-related effort, but it ended up raising market expectations of a €500 million 30-year deal with a seven-year put, which then evolved into a €300 million to €500 million seven-year deal, yielding 7.75%.

The news baffled many, and some analysts struggled to come up with any valid reason for Parmalat to be testing the market for a bond of

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