24 June 2015News

PartnerRe corrects Exor’s “misleading statements”

Bermuda-based PartnerRe has posted a correction of what it claims are “misleading” statements made by Italian investment company Exor.

In the latest round of the bidding war for the reinsurer, PartnerRe’s board said that  Exor made misleading statements regarding PartnerRe’s ratings in the event of a sale to Exor.

“Exor’s June 16, 2015 release implies that Exor had received official guidance from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) on the ratings of PartnerRe under potential Exor ownership,” it said and added that it was “imperative” to make clear a number of facts.

The board said: “S&P has not taken a view nor has it made any public statements regarding the credit or financial strength ratings of PartnerRe in the event of an Exor acquisition. Exor’s statements with regard to PartnerRe’s potential credit ratings are misleading, and do not reflect the views of S&P or S&P’s analyst for PartnerRe.”

It added that it doesn’t anticipate that S&P will comment on the potential rating implications of an acquisition by Exor unless a definitive merger agreement is in place.

PartnerRe concluded: “Notwithstanding Exor’s assertions, PartnerRe’s credit standing and ratings will be impacted by developments at Exor and vice versa. Rating agency communications are clear on this point and are supported by rating methodologies for operating holding companies.”

Soon afterwards, Exor refuted the claims, reiterating that its capital structure will have no impact on the ratings of PartnerRe, including the BBB rating of the preferred shares, in the event Exor acquires PartnerRe.

“Calculations publicised by PartnerRe which purport to aggregate the debt of Exor and its investee companies are therefore wrong and do not follow S&P's rating methodology,” said Exor.

“For PartnerRe preferred shareholders, this means that should PartnerRe accept Exor’s binding offer for the company, Exor’s capital structure will not affect the ratings of PartnerRe, including the BBB rating of PartnerRe preferred securities.”

It added: “The more the PartnerRe board misleads its shareholders on the merits of the Exor offer the clearer it is that the inferior Axis transaction is short on substance and long on execution and integration risks for its shareholders, employees and clients.”