Italian investor Exor tries to woo PartnerRe away from rival Axis

Caitlin Morrison
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ITALIAN investment firm Exor stepped up its attempts to win over Bermuda-based PartnerRe yesterday, pumping its offer up to $6.8bn (£4.3bn).

This is not the first time Exor has attempted to trump a deal between PartnerRe and Axis, which has proposed an $11bn all-share deal for the reinsurer, including a one-off cash dividend of $11.5 per share.

The Italian company, which is controlled by the Agnelli family and owns Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said its offer was “irrevocable and binding”, and called on PartnerRe’s shareholders to recommend the “clearly superior all-cash offer”.

Earlier this month, Exor said it remained committed to reaching a deal with PartnerRe based on an offer of $130 per share. The investment group is now offering $137.50 per share.

The company, which is currently PartnerRe’s biggest shareholder, said its commitment to its offer is underscored by its decision to invest $572m in the reinsurer, representing 9.32 per cent of the total outstanding common shares.

John Elkann, Exor chief executive and chairman, said: “Exor’s binding offer clearly delivers superior and certain value for PartnerRe shareholders, and provides a more attractive outcome for the company’s employees and clients.”

He added that PartnerRe shareholders deserve the opportunity to choose the Exor offer and urged them to vote against the “inferior” Axis deal.