This operation involves Institut Mérieux, an independent holding company of the Mérieux family specializing in global health and bringing together all the companies in the Mérieu galaxy, and Exor NV (“Exor”); as well as by the diversified holding company controlled by the Agnelli family.
The two families have signed this long-term partnership agreement under which Exor will acquire, through a reserved capital increase, a 10% stake in Institut Mérieux for an investment of 833 million euros.
Why such an agreement between two families of entrepreneurs who each weigh heavily in their respective countries?
“Exor’s investment in Institut Mérieux materializes a partnership between two families with a century of industrial entrepreneurial achievements as well as a recognized ability, through five generations, to develop their activities by seizing the opportunities offered by changes. structural”, we explain on the side of Exor.
Advantage for the Mérieux family: this partnership with Exor provides it with additional and significant resources to support the growth of Institut Mérieux.
Created 125 years ago in Lyon, Institut Mérieux, which is experiencing rapid growth, further accelerated with the Covid crisis, has five companies: the listed company bioMérieux, one of the world leaders in in vitro diagnostics; Mérieux NutriSciences, a leading global provider of food and nutrition consulting and monitoring services; ABL Inc (Advanced Bioscience Laboratories), a company based in the United States and France specializing in the bioproduction of gene therapy products, vaccines and protein biotherapies; another listed company, Transgene, which is developing promising therapeutic vaccines and oncolytic viruses against cancer; and finally, a development capital and innovation capital company in the fields of health and nutrition: Mérieux Equity Partners, which manages a portfolio of more than 30 investments and more than one billion euros in assets under management. …
For its part, Exor weighs 26 billion euros: its portfolio is mainly composed of companies in which Exor is the main shareholder: Ferrari, PartnerRe, Stellantis, CNH Industrial, Iveco Group, Juventus FC, The Economist, GEDI Gruppo Editoriale and Shang Xia .
“A relay of growth”
Seeking a growth driver, the Agnelli family holding company has thus “identified the health sector as a new area of growth for its activity.”
“In the year when Institut Mérieux celebrates its 125th anniversary, I am delighted with this European partnership between our two family groups. I have a strong attachment to Italy, and the meeting with Exor was self-evident. With John (Editor’s note Elkann), Alexandre and I share strong territorial roots between Lyon and Turin, the same entrepreneurial and industrial culture and the same long-term vision”, welcomed as soon as the signing of the agreement, Alain Mérieux, President of Institut Mérieux.
With the entry of Exor as a partner shareholder of Institut Mérieux, John Elkann and Benoît Ribadeau Dumas will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
A third of the reserved capital increase of 833 million euros will be immediately contributed to the closing, scheduled for the summer of 2022, and the balance over the next twelve months.
The two parties do not hide the fact that Exor’s 10% limit in the capital of Institut Mérieux could be exceeded in the future, if the affinities between the two families are confirmed and deepened…