Shares in French reinsurer Scor have leapt this morning following news that French mutual group Covea approached the firm last month with a take-over offer.
Covea said it approached the Paris-headquartered firm on 24 August with an offer of EUR43 per share, the equivalent to a then 20 percent premium to its share price.
According to Covea - which already owns an 8 percent stake in the business - Scor rejected the approach. By 10am in Paris, Scor shares were up 7 percent at EUR37.95.
The development is another chapter is what is already an extraordinary year for (re)Insurance M&A.
In January, AIG announced an agreement to acquire the Lloyd’s and Bermuda (re)insurer Validus for $5.6bn, the equivalent of a high 1.8x price-to-book multiple. That deal was quickly followed by Axa’s eye-watering $15.3bn purchase of XL Group, the equivalent of an even higher 2x price-to-book multiple.
More recently, the Bermudian (re)insurer Aspen Insurance was finally sold to Apollo Global Management for $2.6bn, equivalent of around 1.13x book.
Also in August, The Hartford finally realised its ambition of acquiring a specialty insurer when it purchased US group Navigators - which also owns a Lloyd’s platform - at a handsome premium of 1.8x book.
A further unexpected move occurred last week when Markel became the largest ILS fund manager by agreeing to buy Nephila, which has over $12bn assets under management.
Later this week, China Re is expected to announce its agreed purchase of top-ten Lloyd’s insurer Chaucer for 1.4x book, or circa $1b, from its owner The Hanover.