AXIS Capital Holdings Limited was apparently prepared to lose out on its merger with Partner Re. The company announced, soon after the deal with EXOR was announced that it “has accepted a request from PartnerRe Ltd. to terminate the amalgamation agreement with AXIS Capital.”
AXIS also confirmed that “PartnerRe will pay AXIS Capital a $315 million fee to immediately terminate the amalgamation agreement, which was originally entered into by both companies on January 25, 2015. The special meeting of AXIS Capital shareholders, which was scheduled for August 7, 2015, has been cancelled.
Both Michael A. Butt, Chairman of the AXIS Capital Board of Directors, and Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS Capital issued statements as part of the announcement.
Butt said: “Prior to PartnerRe reaching out to us last December to discuss a combination of our companies, we were confident in continuing with our strategy as a stand-alone company, building our three strong businesses incrementally. We will now proceed with that strategy, with strengthened resolve. We have been very conscious of our responsibilities to our shareholders throughout these negotiations and believe we have demonstrated prudence and financial discipline in our approach.”
Benchimol said: “Our proposed transaction with PartnerRe stood to create a powerful mix of two financially strong and independent companies with compelling insurance/reinsurance franchises. While I am disappointed that the merger will not proceed, I have no doubt that the best days for AXIS Capital, our employees, clients, brokers and shareholders lie ahead. We have built a powerful global platform on which to continue to advance our hybrid insurance model with three diversified businesses in specialty insurance, reinsurance, and accident and health.”
AXIS also noted that “in tandem with today’s announcement, the Company has reinstated its share repurchase program, which has $749 million remaining under the Board’s current authorization through December 31, 2016.” The reinstatement will take place forthwith, and AXIS said it “should be completed no later than December 31, 2015.”
In conclusion Benchimol indicated that the company is “prepared to move ahead with our fiscally disciplined growth strategy and a commitment to return excess capital to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock repurchases.”
He also thanked the company’s employees “for their diligent efforts throughout the integration planning meetings that took place over the past several months, and for their ongoing focus on the business-of-the-business. We have learned a great deal from this process, and we intend to apply what we have learned to make AXIS Capital a better company in the months and years ahead.”
Source: AXIS Capital
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