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Exor nears deal with Covea for PartnerRe

By Ramla Soni

Exor said that talks in an all-cash deal were ongoing but there was no certainty they would result in a transaction

Investment group Exor, which controls carmaker Fiat Chrysler, is said to be in exclusive talks to sell reinsurer PartnerRe to France’s Covea in a deal worth around $9bn (£7bn, €8bn).

Exor, the investment vehicle of Italy’s Agnelli family, said that talks in an all-cash deal were ongoing but there was no certainty they would result in a transaction. No further details were disclosed.

The group, led by Agnelli scion John Elkann, completed the $6.9bn acquisition of PartnerRe in 2016, making it the group’s single biggest investment and a key step in diversifying the family’s portfolio.

Talks between Exor and insurer Covea were first reported by the Insurance Insider website.

The source said Exor, which also controls Ferrari and industrial machinery firm CNH, was interested in the deal because it would help accelerate PartnerRe’s strategy in a consolidating sector and would also offer a good premium on Exor’s investment.“Nothing concrete is expected in the coming days but such talks normally do not go on for months,” the source said.

The source added that the tie-up would not lead to any overlaps between the two companies and would create the world’s third largest reinsurer by assets.A spokesperson from Covea confirmed the talks, but did not give any further details.

Last year, Covea which is one of France’s top damage and property insurance companies dropped a bid to buy local reinsurer SCOR.Covea’s CEO Thierry Derez said at the time the company was seeking to acquire another reinsurer.Covea makes almost 90 per cent of its €17bn ($19 bn) business in France.

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