The announcement comes the same day Covéa revealed it is withdrawing its interest in Scor, slashing the reinsurer’s share price
Scor has started criminal proceedings against French mutual insurer Covéa, and its chief executive Thierry Derez.
It is accusing Covéa of concealment of breach of trust, and Derez, a former director of Scor, of breach of trust.
The announcement comes the same day as Covéa released a statement that it was no longer pursuing the acquisition of Paris-based reinsurer Scor.
Covéa’s release revealed that a “transaction with Scor is no longer part of its strategic options”, citing. It claimed Scor had used “continued attacks and hostile tactics targeting Covea” which had “intensified in the last few days”.
Covéa’s announcement saw the Scor share price drop 13%.
Scor responded with its own statement, saying that Scor had not previously been informed of Covéa’s change in position, and denying the claims of attacks and hostile tactics.
It said that Covéa’s announcement came “with great surprise and astonishment” and that it had decided to also bring the matter to the attention of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
The statement goes on: “Given the seriousness of the facts and evidence brought to the attention of SCOR and its governance bodies relating to the misconduct committed to the detriment of SCOR, in the context of the preparation and submission by Covéa of its unsolicited proposed combination with the SCOR group, SCOR has been compelled to initiate legal actions.”
As well as the criminal proceedings, Scor is also pursuing civil actions against Covéa and Derez.
Derez is accused of serious breach of his legal and fiduciary duties and obligations as a director of Scor in his personal capacity, as well as Scor’s trade secrets.
Covéa is accused of having directly participated in and benefitted from the serious breaches by Derez.
Scor is also launching a civil action against Rothschild in France and against Barclays before the High Court in London, for serious breach of confidence and trade secrets.
Covéa, which already holds an 8% stake in Scor, had been trying since August last year to take a majority stake in Scor.
Scor chief executive Denis Kessler has repeatedly insisted the reinsurer is not for sale.
Derez had been on the board of Scor, but resigned in November 2018 amid the storm.
In a response to Scor’s release, a Covéa spokesperson said: ”Covéa has taken note of the press release issued by Scor today and strongly denies all of the allegations contained in it.
”Covéa will hold a board meeting tomorrow and reserves all rights to protect its interests in view of these serious and unfounded accusations which are harmful to its reputation.”
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