Thierry Derez, the Chief Executive Officer of French insurer Covéa, has resigned from his position on SCOR’s board following the rejection of an €8.2 billion (US $9.6 billion) takeover attempt in September.
SCOR had recently released a statement reaffirming its rejection of Covéa’s “hostile and unfriendly” acquisition offer and called for Derez to permanently resign.
Concurrently, Covéa has described its move as a “friendly transaction aimed at the creation of a large French insurance group with international presence in an evolving sector.”
SCOR says it acknowledges the fact that Thierry Derez is “finally facing the consequences of the general conflict of interest situation in which he found himself with regard to the Company”, which were reportedly recognised by three unanimous SCOR Board decisions on 30 August, 21 September and 23 October.
Covéa currently holds an 8.2% stake in SCOR and has been its largest shareholder since April 2016. Its successive CEOs have each been members of SCOR’s Board since Covéa originally became a shareholder in 2003.
“This situation, which in particular was disrupting the proper functioning of the Group’s management bodies, led SCOR to ask Thierry Derez to resign as a director on several occasions,” explains SCOR.
SCOR’s management has recently come under fire from activist investors for refusing to engage in negotiations with Covéa, whose initial bid valued SCOR’s shares at €43 per share.
“In no way has SCOR obstructed the exercise of Thierry Derez’s mandate. The Company simply asked him to face the consequences of the unacceptable conflict of interest situation in which he placed himself,” explains SCOR in a statement released today.
SCOR claims that Derez’s resignation is the direct result of the Haut Comité de Gouvernement d’Entreprise stating he could no longer occupy the post due to a conflict of interest.