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France's Covea files complaint against CEO of reinsurer Scor

PARIS, March 24 (Reuters) - French insurer Covea has filed a complaint against the CEO of reinsurer Scor, Denis Kessler, alleging market manipulation and misuse of corporate assets, it said on Wednesday.

Covea, which is Scor’s biggest shareholder with a 8.45% stake, based on Refinitiv data, said in a statement the complaint filed with financial prosecutors followed a 195 million euro ($230.63 million) share buyback that Covea alleged had “artificially” inflated Scor’s share price.

Covea also said it had filed the complaint after Scor spent 16 million euros in advisory expenses to counter takeover plans from Covea.

“These actions led Covea to file a complaint on behalf of Scor”, Covea said.

Scor said in a statement the company deplored what it said was a misleading and groundless move by Covea. Kessler did not respond directly to Reuters’ requests for comment.

In January 2019, Covea abandoned plans to buy Scor after fierce opposition from the reinsurer. The takeover plan had led at the time to legal disputes between the two companies.

$1 = 0.8455 euros Reporting by Matthieu Protard. Editing by Jane Merriman

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