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SCOR buys Converium stake, looks to a takeover


PARIS— SCOR S.A. has purchased 32.9% of Converium Holding Ltd. and is looking to acquire the entire company.

SCOR, based in Paris, late last week purchased the stake in Converium for 21.1 Swiss francs per share and over the weekend offered to pay 21 Swiss francs per share to buy the Zug, Switzerland-based reinsurer.

Converium rejected the unsolicited bid, which it said in a statement "fundamentally fails to recognise the value of Converium's franchise and growth prospects."

Converium said its strong January renewals and growing reinsurance book of business are proof of its commitment to restore its market position to levels it enjoyed before financial strength downgrades in 2004.

SCOR said in a statement that it "strongly believes that the combination of Converium and SCOR is a unique strategic opportunity to create a Top 5 global multi-line reinsurer in this time of market consolidation."