The Board of reinsurance firm PartnerRe responded to the latest improved offer from Italian investment holding company EXOR, saying that it acknowledges that the offer is reasonably likely to result in a “Superior Proposal”, but added that it still prefers the planned merger with AXIS Capital.
Update: AXIS Capital also said that it still prefers the merger scenario, but at the same time it said it has halted all integration work until the outcome is better understood.
It’s the latest twist in this three-way reinsurance merger tussle between the parties, but this is now the first time that PartnerRe’s Board has acknowledged that the deal with EXOR could be a superior offer, in transaction terms.
The PartnerRe Board said that it in response to the revised and enhanced offer submitted yesterday by EXOR, which the reinsurance firm Board notes is the sixth such revision, it has “determined that the latest EXOR proposal would reasonably be likely to result in a “Superior Proposal” (as defined in the Amalgamation Agreement with AXIS Capital).”
As a result of the EXOR deal now qualifying as a “superior proposal” the PartnerRe Board said that it will seek to engage with EXOR, offering the investment conglomerate the option to conduct due dilligence, as well as to “determine whether the current offer can be improved both in its price and terms with respect to items previously identified.”
However, the Board of PartnerRe said that it “continues to believe that the transformative amalgamation with AXIS Capital is superior in value, terms and certainty of closing to the current EXOR proposal.”
That means that PartnerRe is not doing anything to jeopardise the merger with insurance and reinsurance firm AXIS Capital, continuing to encourage its sharholders to vote for that deal over the EXOR offer. This despite having finally invited EXOR to the table.
For EXOR this must be seen as both a step in the right direction, with the Board of PartnerRe finally acknowledging its offer as potentially superior, but also disappointing that with a superior offer on the table the PartnerRe Board continues to push for the AXIS deal.
That’s likely to result in further back and forth, we’d imagine, with more announcements likely in the next day or so.
Just when you thought we could be nearing the end game, this reinsurance M&A saga looks set to keep generating the headlines.
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