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FB Roundup: Exor, JAB Holding Co and L’Oreal

Agnelli family office weighs selling PartnerRe to Covea for $9 billion, Reimann family looks to float $7 billion coffee empire, L’Oreal family actions next gen succession.

Agnelli family office weighs selling PartnerRe to Covea for $9 billion

The family office of Italy’s Agnelli dynasty has confirmed it has entered into exclusive discussions with French insurer Covea about a possible all-cash acquisition of reinsurer PartnerRe.

Exor, the family’s $159 billion investment group that controls Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), is chaired by John Elkann (pictured), a grandson of Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli. Elkann also sits on the board of PartnerRe. Exor acquired PartnerRe for $6.9 billion in 2016 despite the Bermuda-based firm’s plan to merge with competitor Axis Capital. The acquisition was seen as a turning point in the family’s efforts to diversify its portfolio.

The agreement between Exor and Covea was reportedly worth about $9 billion. The return on Exor’s investment and the divestment came months after Elkann and Fiat Chrysler entered a $48 billion union with Peugeot-owner PSA, itself 12.2% owned by the French Peugeot family.

Exor said in statement the discussions were ongoing and there was no certainty they will result in a transaction.

Reimann family looks to float $7 billion coffee empire

Germany’s Reimann family has taken another step towards listing its $7 billion coffee powerhouse with reports its family office has consulted banks and seeks to raise $3.3 billion (€3 billion).

The family’s Luxembourg-based JAB Holding Co announced in December its property Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) would combine with Peet’s Coffee and explore an IPO. JDE Peet became the world's largest pure-play coffee and tea group, serving 130 billion cups of coffee and tea in 2019 in more than 100 countries in both developed and emerging markets. The IPO is expected to be completed during 2020, depending on market conditions, after which JAB expected to remain the controlling shareholder.

The reclusive €33 billion ($37 billion) Reimann family has been on an acquisition spending spree since 2016, which turned JAB into an $80 billion rival for Nestle and Coca-Cola in beverages and L’Oreal in cosmetics.

L’Oreal family actions next gen succession

Jean-Pierre Meyers, husband of L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, is stepping down from the board of the $30 billion cosmetics group after three decades to make way for his son.

Meyers, 71, a director of L’Oreal since 1987, vice-chairman of the board since 1994 and a member of the strategy and sustainable development, human resources and remuneration, and appointments and governance committees, declared the upcoming renewal of his tenure at the next annual meeting in April seemed an opportune moment, while stressing the family’s “profound and lasting attachment” to L’Oreal.

Chairman and chief executive Jean-Paul Agon paid tribute to Meyers’ “profound knowledge of the company, his constant determination to preserve its values, his insistence on the highest standards of governance”, and the support he provided for the group’s development and international success.

At the request of Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and her family, the board will propose at the meeting the candidacy of Nicolas Meyers, 32, the couple’s younger of two sons, as a new director for a four-year term.


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