Paris-headquartered insurance group Covéa, which last year backed out of a deal to snap up PartnerRe due to the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, is now reportedly exploring the possibility of acquiring AXA XL Re instead.
According to a L'Argus de l'assurance report, Covéa is being advised by investment bank Rothschild & Cie during this approach phase. Both AXA and Covéa, however, declined to comment when contacted by the French publication.
It’s not clear why Covéa is supposedly looking elsewhere instead of just reviving its ill-fated PartnerRe swoop.
“In light of the current unprecedented conditions and significant uncertainties threatening the global economic outlook, Covéa has indicated to Exor that the context does not allow the contemplated acquisition of PartnerRe to be carried out on the terms initially envisaged,” stated Covéa in May 2020.
The group was originally eyeing global reinsurer SCOR, where Covéa is a major shareholder. The rejected takeover proposal in 2018 led to soured relations between Covéa and SCOR, the two patching things up only recently.