Converium Rejects $2.5 Billion Offer from Scor

Swiss reinsurer Converium Holding said Monday it rejected an unsolicited 3.1 billion Swiss franc ($2.5 billion) offer for the business from Scor, France's largest reinsurer.

Converium shares surged 12% to 21 francs ($17) in Zurich trading Monday, the same price being offered. Shares in Scor fell 6.2% to 19.80 euros ($26.02) on Euronext in Paris.

Scor, which announced that it has already bought 32.9% of the Swiss company's shares, said it was disappointed with Converium's response.

"Scor strongly believes that the combination of Converium and Scor is a unique strategic opportunity," the French company said in a statement.

Reinsurers sell backup insurance to other insurance companies, spreading risk so that enormous losses can be covered. Scor said a combination of the companies would create a "top 5 multi-line reinsurer in this time of market consolidation.'

Converium said it believes the offer price "fundamentally fails to recognize the value of Converium's franchise and growth prospects." The company is set to release its full-year results March 20.