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SCOR sues Barclays, demands access to Covéa acquisition docs

25th February 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

French reinsurer SCOR has gone through with it’s plans to prosecute Barclays, who acted as the financial advisor and financing bank to Covéa during its failed attempt to acquire SCOR in 2018, according to reports from the Financial Times.

SCORSCOR previously announced that it intended to sue Covéa and its CEO, Thierry Derez for breach of trust and revealing trade secrets, given Derez’s position as a Director of SCOR at the time of the €8.2 billion takeover bid.

The reinsurer also made clear it’s intention to take legal action against Barclays, and is now demanding that the bank hand over hundreds of pages of confidential documents related to Covéa’s acquisition offer.

“Barclays obtained from Covéa information that was highly confidential and sensitive to Scor,” SCOR stated in court documents that were filed with the UK High Court.

SCOR wants Barclays to stop using the documents, which allegedly include details of the valuation of the company prepared by BNP Paribas and details of a rival deal that SCOR was working on, and turn them over for inspection.

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The information is supposed to have been supplied by Derez, who sat on SCOR’s Board until November 2018, when he was forced to resign due to the controversy surrounding the rejected deal.

Covéa has since scrapped any plans to further pursue a deal with SCOR, and has recently rejected SCOR’s accusations as a “groundless” strategy to “manipulate the judicial process.”

“Barclays knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that such information was confidential to Scor and/or that it had been obtained by Mr Derez in breach of confidence and loyalty owed to Scor,” the court documents argued.

“So far as Scor is aware,” the filing continued, “Barclays remains in receipt of the confidential information and remains engaged by Covéa in relation to a potential acquisition by Covéa of Scor.”

The court documents also show that SCOR is claiming damages from Barclays, although they do not disclose exactly how much.

Rothschild has also been sued by SCOR due to its involvement in the Covéa fiasco, although Credit Suisse was spared after its Chief Executive, Tidjane Thiam, intervened personally to stop the bank from advising Covéa.

In a recent interview with French publication Les Echos, SCOR CEO Denis Kessler revealed that, after winning a legal case that compelled Credit Suisse to hand over its pertinent documents, the reinsurer received more than 395 mails and 3,000 pages, many of which contained sensitive information that “should never have been sent to third parties.”

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