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Covéa ordered to compensate SCOR over takeover bid

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The Paris Commercial Court has ruled that former SCOR director Thierry Derez must pay €479,376 plus interest, in compensation for the damage his personal misconduct has caused the French reinsurer. The Covéa chair and chief executive resigned from SCOR’s board two years ago.

Legal actions were initiated by SCOR last year in relation to French mutual insurer Covéa’s unsolicited takeover proposal in 2018.

The court found that Derez committed a serious breach of his legal and fiduciary duties and obligations as a director of SCOR in his personal capacity by disclosing confidential SCOR information and documents to Covéa and its advisors with the aim of wrongfully favoring the preparation and execution of an unsolicited takeover bid for SCOR by Covéa.

The Court also ruled that Covéa SGAM and Covéa Coopérations knowingly participated in and benefited from Derez’s misconduct, and that the public communication of their unsolicited takeover bid for SCOR was wrongful.

Thierry Derez, Covéa SGAM and Covéa Coopérations were ordered in solidum to pay the sum of €19,603,191 plus interest, in compensation.

SCOR said it welcomed the judgment and said it is proceeding with criminal proceedings against Thierry Derez and Covéa in connection with the failed takeover bid. It has also started civil proceedings against Barclays, Covéa’s financial advisor and financing bank.

Covéa and Thierry Derez are appealing against the ruling of the Paris Commercial Court, citing “serious and multiple errors of appreciation, both in fact and in law.”

In a statement, Covéa said: “It is for the corporate interest of both SCOR and its shareholders that Covéa expressed the wish to submit a proposal for a combination between the two companies. Such project would have notably guaranteed the financial soundness of SCOR and would have promoted its development.”

This story originally appeared in Reactions.