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Sale of PartnerRe could be back on the table

A deal for the sale of Bermuda-based PartnerRe could be back on, with word that EXOR, the company that acquired the reinsurer in 2016, has restarted talks with the French insurer Covéa.

The transaction last year would have had Covéa pay $9 billion in cash for 100 per cent of PartnerRe but the deal fell apart late in the day when the French company pulled out of a deal originally agreed to before the coronavirus pandemic.

Talks have resumed in recent weeks, according to several unidentified sources cited by the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

EXOR declined to comment on the report while privately held Covéa was not immediately available for comment, according to Reuters.

Under the original terms of the agreement with Covéa, EXOR would have received an aggregate cash return of $3 billion from its purchase and disposal of PartnerRe, including dividends paid by the reinsurer since 2016.

After the deal collapsed, Covéa agreed to invest $1.75 billion in entities managed by PartnerRe and in undisclosed investments related to EXOR in an attempt to normalise relations between the two companies.

EXOR is the Netherlands-registered holding company controlled by the Agnelli family. In 2021, it recorded revenues of more than $136 billion, becoming the 37th largest group in the world by revenue, according to the 2021 Fortune Global 500 List.

PartnerRe was one of many trophy investments EXOR has held, including the car company Ferrari, the football team Juventus FC, the international magazine The Economist and the Italian media company GEDI, according to Wikipedia.

PartnerRe was formed in Bermuda in 1993 with $1 billion of capital, bringing much-needed capacity to a market in crisis.

It was one of eight companies formed as property catastrophe reinsurers to set up on the island after Hurricane Andrew, at the time the most costly natural catastrophe to hit insurance and reinsurance markets.

It is widely considered to be the start of the modern reinsurance market in Bermuda.

Possible deal: PartnerRe has offices in Pembroke (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 27, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated October 27, 2021 at 7:59 am)

Sale of PartnerRe could be back on the table

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