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Exor's PartnerRe sale to free 9 billion euros for investment

Stock MarketsNov 30, 2021 11:31AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chairman and CEO of Exor and Chairman of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles John Elkann attends investor day held by the holding group of Italy's Agnelli family in Turin, Italy November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

MILAN (Reuters) -Exor, the holding company of Italy's Agnelli family, will have about 9 billion euros ($10.2 billion) available for investments including in luxury industry, once it completes the sale of reinsurer PartnerRe, its CEO said on Tuesday.

Chief Executive John Elkann said Exor (OTC:EXXRF) was not aiming to create a luxury group, after it became the largest shareholder in Chinese group Shang Xia last year and in March it took a 24% holding in high-end shoemaker Louboutin for 540 million euros, fuelling speculation of further expansion in the luxury sector.

"But luxury is definitely an interesting industry for us," he said presenting the company's strategy for the coming years.

Elkann, however, dismissed rumours of an interest in Italian luxury group Armani.

"We've got an excellent relationship with Giorgio Armani and his group. The company is not for sale, it's important that rumours on our potential interest for it end," the scion of the Agnelli family said.

Exor in October signed a preliminary accord to sell Bermuda-based PartnerRe to French insurance group Covea for $9 billion in cash, reviving a deal that had been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. The deal is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

Elkann said Exor would deploy its cash on companies it already owns and new investments focusing on the luxury, healthcare and technology sectors, especially in North America and Europe but also Asia.

"They're expensive sectors," he said.

The company will remain open to other industries and geographies, he added.

Exor is the single largest shareholder in carmaker Stellantis and has controlling stakes in luxury sports car maker Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) and in industrial vehicle maker CNH Industrial (NYSE:CNHI). It also has a controlling stake in Serie A soccer team Juventus.

Following PartnerRe's sale, Exor will also make available another 500 million euros to spend on a share buyback between 2022 and 2024 and 500 million euros to reduce debt next year to 4 billion euros, Elkann added.

Exor Managing Director Suzanne Heywood told analysts Exor saw no reasons to take further actions on Iveco, CNH's truck-making unit which is going to be spun off from CNH Industrial and separately listed at the start of next year.

"Of course if we receive approaches for Iveco, the board will look at it," said Heywood, who's also CNH Industrial chairman and chairman-designate of Iveco.

($1 = 0.8798 euros)

Exor's PartnerRe sale to free 9 billion euros for investment

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