Reinsurers Axis Capital, PartnerRe combining in $11 billion transaction

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Reinsurers Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. and PartnerRe are combining in an $11 billion deal.

PartnerRe Ltd. shareholders will receive 2.18 shares of the combined company’s stock for each share of PartnerRe that they own. Axis Capital shareholders will receive one share of the new company’s stock for each share of Axis Capital that they own.

PartnerRe shareholders will own about 51.6 per cent of the new company once the deal closes. Axis Capital shareholders will own about 48.4 per cent.

Axis Capital CEO Albert A. Benchimol will serve as CEO of the new company.

PartnerRe CEO Costas Miranthis is stepping down from his post and as a PartnerRe director. PartnerRe board member David Zwiener will serve as interim CEO until the deal closes.

PartnerRe Chairman Jean-Paul L. Montupet will serve as non-executive chairman, while current Axis Capital Chairman Michael A. Butt will serve as Chairman Emeritus.

The 14-member board will include seven directors from both PartnerRe and Axis Capital.

The deal is expected to achieve at least $200 million in annual cost savings in the first 18 months of operations and to add to earnings per share.

The new company will be based in Bermuda, which is where Axis Capital and PartnerRe have headquarters.

Both companies’ boards have unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of the year. It still needs approval from shareholders of both companies.

Shares of Axis Capital gained more than 3 per cent in Monday premarket trading.