Exor has 2 billion euros available for new investments, CFO says

MILAN (Reuters) -Exor has around 2 billion euros ($2.14 billion) in cash left for investments after recent deals, which include the purchase of a 15% stake in Philips, the CFO of Agnelli family’s investment company said on Thursday.

Exor’s investments cover a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, sport, media, fashion, healthcare and technology. Last month, the group announced it had spent 2.6 billion euros to become Philips’s top investor.

At the end of 2022, Exor had 6.5 billion available for investments, including 5 billion euros for direct acquisitions, following the sale of reinsurer PartnerRe.

Exor said on Wednesday it was launching a 1 billion euro share buyback and that it had made other smaller investments during the first half of this year, including in U.S.-based shared mobility company Via Transportation for an additional $50 million and in its Lingotto Investment Management company for a total of 400 million euros.

After these deals, Exor has around 1 billion euros for acquisitions and another 1 billion euros for investments through its vehicles Ventures and Lingotto, Chief Financial Officer Guido de Boer told analysts, presenting first-half results.

De Boer said Exor’s future acquisitions would still focus on healthcare, luxury and tech, in line with guidance provided last year.

“Those sectors are still where we aim to invest. Obviously, if we see an attractive opportunity somewhere else we will be nimble and free to do that,” he said, adding it was prioritising listed companies but without excluding private markets.

Netherlands-based Exor controls companies including Ferrari, truckmaker Iveco and Serie A soccer club Juventus, and is the single largest shareholder in automaker Stellantis.

Asked about the rationale of the recent Philips deal de Boer said Exor was “really impressed” by the group’s transformation from an electronics device conglomerate into a world-leading health tech company.

“We believe that our presence as a stable shareholder is supportive of management… We think that’s attractive to Philips and we believe that Philips can deliver attractive returns to us,” he said.

($1 = 0.9350 euros)

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing Federico Maccioni and Jane Merriman)