Article: Covéa-SCOR conflict takes new twist

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Covéa-SCOR conflict takes new twist

Terry Gangcuangco, 25 March 2021

The soured relationship between Covéa Group and SCOR is not looking any better with the passing of time, with another major development likely to widen the rift between the two.

In a release, French mutual insurance group Covéa said it has filed “on behalf of SCOR” a complaint against the latter’s chief executive for alleged market manipulation and corporate assets misuse. Filed with the Parquet National Financier, the complaint against Denis Kessler spans actions taken between September 2018 and January 2019 involving a share buyback and so-called advisory expenses.

Reacting to the move by its biggest shareholder, the global reinsurer stated: “SCOR wonders what led Covéa to file this complaint, more than two years after it became aware of the facts it pretends to report.

“The facts mentioned by Covéa in its Press release, namely the expenses that SCOR was obliged to incur to defend itself against Covéa’s unsolicited takeover attempt on SCOR in 2018, as well as the extra costs incurred by SCOR in connection with the implementation of its share buyback program, are perfectly justified and legitimate, and are in no way new revelations.”

Covéa alleged that the sole purpose of the €195 million share buyback was to artificially inflate SCOR’s share price. As for the advisory expenses, Covéa said €16 million was supposedly incurred “to allegedly counter an imaginary takeover of SCOR from Covéa, even though Covéa had withdrawn its otherwise friendly proposition on September 04, 2018.”

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