The stock market policeman disavows Covéa who accused the CEO of SCOR of price manipulation

Covéa has just lost a new battle in the conflict between it and SCOR since the summer of 2018. Last March, the mutualist group that oversees the MMA, MAAF and GMF brands had filed a complaint with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) against Denis Kessler, CEO of the reinsurer SCOR, for “price manipulation” and “abuse of corporate assets”. This complaint is likely to be dismissed. On Thursday evening, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) said it had no information confirming suspicions of price manipulation about the reinsurer SCOR.

The PNF requested the opinion of the AMF on a possible price manipulation resulting from the repurchase by SCOR between October 25 and December 10, 2018 of its own shares. », Said the stock market gendarme in a press release. “ The AMF examined the conditions of these share buybacks and their impact on the share price; after deliberation by its College, the AMF today informed the PNF that the information at its disposal does not support allegations of price manipulation. “.

An extremely rare communication

On the part of the regulator, usually very discreet, such communication is extremely rare. The stock market policeman has a habit of never informing the public about current affairs.

Asked by “Les Echos”, Covéa did not wish to comment on a “procedural act”. SCOR welcomed this communication. He recalled that on the very day of Covéa’s announcement of the filing of this complaint, he deplored ” a deceptive and unfounded maneuver by the Covéa group “.

The two bosses have been at loggerheads since the summer of 2018 when Covéa tried to take control of SCOR. The reinsurer has rejected this proposal head-on and has since criticized Thierry Derez for having taken advantage of his position as director of SCOR to promote his projects and those of Covéa.

Blow carried by the AMF

Covéa’s criminal complaint against Denis Kessler was to open a new front in the fight between the two heavyweights of the insurance sector in France. Last November, SCOR had already won a round before the Paris Commercial Court. He sentenced Thierry Derez and Covéa to a fine of nearly 20 million euros, considering that the boss of the mutualist group had violated his obligations as a director. The interested parties appealed.

The AMF’s blow to Covéa’s approach comes just before the criminal trial initiated by SCOR against Thierry Derez and Covéa before the Paris Criminal Court from the beginning of July. . The reinsurer accuses them respectively of breach of trust and concealment of breach of trust.

Despite everything, there remains the other part of Covéa’s criminal complaint, on a suspicion of abuse of corporate assets. Will she do pschitt, too? Covéa criticized SCOR for having spent 16 million euros in legal fees, communication advice or others, ” allegedly to counter an attempted takeover of SCOR by Covéa even though the latter had withdrawn its otherwise friendly proposal “.

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