Activist Fund Criticisms of Covea Tactics Constitute Slander

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French reinsurer SCOR’s Chief Executive Denis Kessler said on Tuesday that criticism made by activist fund CIAM over his handling of a merger proposal constituted slander.

In an open letter released on Monday, CIAM’s president Catherine Berjal had questioned whether Kessler intended to protect his personal interests to the detriment of the company’s shareholders.

The letter said the blunt rejection by Kessler of a merger proposal made by French insurer Covea and the subsequent lawsuit lodged by SCOR against Covea and its CEO led to a loss of over 900 million euros ($1.03 billion) in SCOR’s market value.

CIAM’s comments “are unfounded and will constitute slander if (CIAM) continue(s) disseminating them,” Kessler told Berjal in a letter on Tuesday.

He added SCOR will release a new strategic plan for the coming years “in due course.”

($1 = 0.8757 euros) (Reporting by Inti Landauro; editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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