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ZURICH, Switzerland-As Swiss Reinsurance Co. finalizes plans to acquire additional shares in Paris-based Societe Anonyme Francaise de Reassurances, Partner Re Ltd. is considering plans to do the same.
Partner Re and Swiss Re reached an agreement last week under which the Bermuda-based property catastrophe reinsurer could buy SAFR shares after Swiss Re increases its own stake in the French reinsurer.
Swiss Re will increase its SAFR holding to 78.4% from 21.56% by buy-ing a 46.8% stake from Paris-based Assurances Generales de France and 10.04% from Athena Assurances, an affiliate of Paris-based bank Worms et Cie.
The total purchase price will be 3.08 billion French francs ($540.8 million), SAFR reported.
In 1995, SAFR wrote gross premiums of 4.14 billion francs ($844 million), about 92% of which was in property/casualty business.
After the sale receives regulatory approval, Swiss Re said it will make a public offer for the remaining shares at the same price.
Discussions between Swiss Re and Partner Re are expected to be completed by March 31. Partner Re President and Chief Executive Officer Herbert N. Haag said in a statement that buying SAFR would enable Partner Re to diversify its book of business, which now is predominantly cat reinsurance. Swiss Re, which owns more than 11% of Partner Re, said such a purchase likely would consist of cash and Partner Re stock. Partner Re said the transaction would not increase Swiss Re's holding to more than 27%.