Reuters is reporting that sources have told the media firm that Italian investment holding company Exor is to consider increasing its bid for reinsurance firm PartnerRe at a board meeting next week.
Update: EXOR did increase it’s offer, with a new bid valuing PartnerRe at $6.8 billion.
It’s the latest twist in the saga surrounding the AXIS Capital – PartnerRe merger, which has been taking shape. Exor came in with a $6.4 billion bid to buy out PartnerRe shareholders, a superior cash deal to the merger. Then AXIS responded last week, offering a special dividend to sweeten the deal for shareholders in the reinsurer.
Perhaps demonstrating the attraction that reinsurance business has, now Reuters reports that two sources told it today that Exor will consider increasing its offer, or sweetening it in some way. Perhaps also showing that Exor does not want to lose its opportunity to get into the global reinsurance space.
We’d imagine that Exor is in talks with key shareholders at PartnerRe, some of which had declared a preference for the all-cash deal it had offered. That could drive a desire to sweeten the terms to get more shareholders onboard to gain control.
No comment was available from either of the parties involved in the merger or from Exor itself. We’ll have to wait to see whether any increased bid is made next week.