September 24, 2018 / 5:39 PM / 3 months ago

Reinsurer Scor's CEO defends rejection of Covea bid

FILE PHOTO: The logo of reinsurer SCOR is pictured on their building in Zurich August 24, 2008. REUTERS/ Christian Hartmann/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Reinsurer Scor’s (SCOR.PA) Chief Executive Denis Kessler has rejected an attempt by activist investor CIAM to get the French company to hold talks with rival Covea on its 8.2 billion euro ($9.65 billion) takeover offer.

Scor has rejected Covea’s bid, but CIAM, which owns a 0.77 percent stake in Scor, last week pressured Kessler to open talks with Covea and threatened legal action.

“Your accusations are baseless, misleading and deceptive,” Kessler said in a letter responding to Catherine Berjal, CIAM’s president.

He said he was acting on behalf of long-term shareholders and not short-term speculators like CIAM.

CIAM has backed Covea’s takeover plan, which offered a 21 percent premium to Scor’s share price prior to the disclosure of the proposal.

Covea, which already owns about 8.5 percent of Scor, offered to pay 43 euros per Scor share, valuing the whole company at 8.2 billion euros. Scor’s shares ended Monday 1 percent higher at 39.58 euros.

Berjal, CIAM’s co-founder, declined to respond immediately to a Reuters’ request to comment, but said she would send Kessler an answer in the coming days. ($1 = 0.8495 euros)

Reporting by Inti Landauro. Editing by Jane Merriman

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