The underlying tension that was simmering for a while between the two families came to the open in April 1994, when an apparently trivial incident between the two patriarchs brought about the eventual split. A fiery debate ensued as to whether Salteri had also been a founder of the company. Belgiorno-Nettis was claiming that he was the sole founder, and that Salteri had joined later as a partner. In the heat of the discussion, mutual accusations of lies were made, and the relationship between the partners suffered irretrievably.
The compounding effect of the clash between Franco and Carlo and the conflicting management styles held by their sons, gave irreversible impetus to split the company.