Risanamento’s €1.225bn sale of a Paris property portfolio has been challenged by companies held by former owner and founder Luigi Zunino.

The Italian company, owned by a number of Italian banks, today said it has received notification of a legal challenge from a group of companies backed by Zunino, contesting the portfolio’s impending sale to UK firm Chelsfield and Middle-Eastern joint-venture partner The Olayan Group.

Risanamento last week said it was on track to complete the sale of the nine-property portfolio, with all sale conditions now met. The deal will help cut company debt and generate proceeds of €230m. Full completion of the sale is expected in May.

Chelsfield has previously partnered Olayan, buying the Knightsbridge Estate in 2010. The Risanamento purchase is set to be the joint venture’s first deal in France.

Last month, Colony Capital, in conjunction with Zunino, had offered to buy shares in Risanamento at €0.25, reflecting a 5% premium at the time. The US-based private equity firm required the creditor banks to accept €0.20 per share for their stakes, while offering to assume some of Risanamento’s debt.