REAL ESTATE - Retail property management firm Corio has filed suit for €46.8m against Italy’s Barletta Group over the 2003 turnkey acquisition of Campania shopping centre outside Naples.

Corio claims the company has failed to comply with the agreed construction schedule for the site. Failure to complete crucial infrastructure – including roads – is causing serious delays in planned completion and has, Corio claimed, left it unable to sign lease contracts with tenants or take over management of the centre.

The Barletta Group has allegedly approached prospective tenants and to have contacted at least one investor regarding possible future acquisition. “Both actions are without the consent of Corio and in direct conflict with Corio’s legal rights,” Corio said in a statement.

A Corio spokeswoman said: “Why have they failed to live up to the agreement? You can imagine the reasons. They have to finish it – it’s in the contract – but it all depends on the progress of the claim now. It’s with the courts.”

Barletta Group has not released details of a counter-suit filed against Corio.