U.S. News

Converium in Talks with White Knight Bidders


Swiss reinsurer Converium is looking for rival bidders to fend off Scor's hostile takeover attempt but has not yet received any firm offers, the company said on Friday.

"We are increasingly considering the option of finding a white knight," spokesman Beat Werder said.

"We are in talks, but there are no formal offers on the table other than the one you've seen from Scor," he said.

Converium last month rejected Scor's 3 billion Swiss franc ($2.46 billion) informal bid for its business as too low, but analysts say will be tough to battle the French group because it already holds a third of Converium's stock.

The two groups showed a poor business fit, Werder said, and a possible white knight bidder could well come from the one of the Bermuda-based reinsurers, which often have large U.S. exposure but little business in Europe.

"A strategic business fit is more likely to be found from companies who are not as strong in the European markets ... especially Bermuda-type businesses," Werder said.

Scor plans to offer half a new Scor share plus 4 Swiss francs in cash for each Converium share, equalling roughly 21 francs at the time of the bid. But the offer has since lost value because Scor's share price has fallen.