March 5, 2018 / 8:28 AM / a year ago

AXA shares slide after announcing $15 billion XL takeover

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in French insurer AXA fell sharply on Monday, as analysts said its planned $15 billion acquisition of commercial insurance and reinsurer XL looked pricey.

AXA shares were down around 5 percent in early session trading, the worst performer on France’s benchmark CAC-40 index and among the worst on the pan-European STOXX 600 index.

“In our view, the acquisition of XL fits AXA’s strategy of growing in commercial insurance. However, the purchase price looks quite high even after synergy effects and AXA’s debt ratio is again rather stretched,” said analysts at German brokerage Bankhaus Lampe, who kept a “hold” rating on AXA shares.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Bate Felix

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