Exor, an investment company led by the Agnelli family, has quietly built a 15% stake in Dutch healthcare group Philips, without triggering the usual disclosure requirements. This move has been seen as a significant vote of confidence in Philips and has boosted the company’s shares.
The transaction was carried out through derivatives deals with Goldman Sachs, according to sources. Philips CEO Roy Jakobs acknowledged the use of a “construct with a financial institution,” but provided no further details. It has been revealed through a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Exor initially purchased a stake of 2.99% in Philips.
Further filings from the Dutch Financial Market Authority (AFM) showed that Goldman Sachs took a 12.11% stake in Philips using a derivatives structure. While sources confirm that Goldman Sachs acted on behalf of Exor, they cannot provide more details. Both Exor and Goldman Sachs have declined to comment on the matter.
Law firms Allen & Overy and De Brauw were involved in advising Exor and Philips, respectively, on this deal. An AFM spokesperson has confirmed that there are no legal obstacles to an investor accumulating a significant shareholding in a single day.
In an effort to prevent a full takeover attempt, Philips and Exor have signed an agreement limiting the investment company’s stake to 20%. This agreement ensures that Philips maintains control over its operations and strategy while also providing Exor with an opportunity to benefit from Philips’ success.
The investment by Exor signals a strong show of support for Philips’ future prospects and underscores their confidence in the company’s ability to navigate through the challenging healthcare industry. As the situation continues to develop, it remains to be seen how Exor’s stake will impact Philips’ future growth and strategic decisions.
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