Italian investment company Exor now owns a 15 per cent in Philips, the Eindhoven health care and technology company.
The investment company Exor, owned by the Agnelli family and known as the "safe" of the family with interests in big firms such as car manufacturers Fiat and Iveco, The Economist Group and Juventus, is acquiring a 15 per cent of Philips in stocks. It means that Exor can appoint one of the ten members on the supervisory board of the company.
"regulatory filings show that the Elkann-Agnelli family holding company had purchased a 2.99% stake in Philips, just below the reporting threshold. Goldman Sachs, on behalf of Exor, also acquired 12.11% in Philips using a derivative structure that includes 95 million option calls. In this way, the transaction was carried out without triggering the communications normally required if a company accumulates a stake of more than 3%, 5%, 10% or 15% in a listed company (source: Milano Finanza)".
With his 15 per cent in Philips, now Exor is the major shareholder of the Dutch company. The transaction - entirely cash financed - is worth about 2.6 billion euros at the current values of the Dutch giant, which has a capitalization of more than 17 billion euros. End it is part of Exor's strategy to focus on health and technology, a sector in which it has already invested one billion euros in 2022, as explained by John Elkann, the CEO of Exor, in the letter to shareholders. Now Exon has about 2,5 billions euros to carry on with the investments in the healtcare. The two companies signed an agreement under which Exor pledged not to increase its stake beyond 20%, eliminating the possibility of a full takeover attempt.
Philips has been in dire straits for some time, partly through the huge recall operation of the sleep apnea machines, which failed to meet the quality requirements. These setbacks largely motivated the recent big reorganization that Philips announced for the research departments in Eindhoven and Best.
“Exor’s investment in Philips, their long-term vision and focus on health care and technology, everything is in line with our strategy and our potential to create value”, Philips-CEO Roy Jakobs says.
The Exon investments in healthcare include those in Institut Mérieux, Lifenet Healthcare and several early stage tech companies through Exor Ventures. Exor also acquired 45% of Lifenet Healthcare, an Italian company involved in the management of clinics and outpatient centers.