In addition, vice president Guido Cicognani and the president of the board of auditors, Gianfranco Capodaglio, have both been stripped of their authority. In a further step, the Milan stock market suspended all trading in the shares of Bio-on for an indefinite period.
The affair has been dubbed the ‘Plastic Bubbles’ investigation by the Italian tax police, who said that, all in all, there were nine suspects. They added that some 150 million euros in assets had been seized following a search of the company’s offices in Emilia-Romagna, Lazio and Lombardy.
According to Bologna prosecutor Giuseppe Amato, Bio-on’s activities were not in line with the communication sent to investors. “We intervened to interrupt this artificial representation that the company did,” he said in a statement to the press, among other things to “avoid the explosion of an economic bubble with potentially devastating effects.”
Giuseppe Amato also revealed that the investigations had revealed a “substantial discrepancy” in production levels: instead of the 1,000 reported, this amounted in reality to a mere 19 tons of PHA since the beginning of 2019.
The search and seizure of the assets and document was conducted with the full collaboration of Bio-On. The company has issued a statement saying that it trusts that, once the material has been analysed, no inappropriate actions on the part of the corporate bodies will emerge.
Bio-on will make every effort to identify the most appropriate solutions to overcome this difficult time, ensuring a future for the project of PHA technology for the production of non-polluting bioplastics.