TURIN. John Elkann had announced it last November: Exor has identified three lines of investment among its objectives, namely technology, luxury and health. Having said that, the Agnelli family holding company has announced a partnership in the health sector. Exor, in fact, joins forces with the Institut Mérieux of Lyon, for “a long-term partnership”. The company chaired by Ajay Banga and led by CEO John Elkann will acquire, through a reserved capital increase, a 10% stake in Institut Mérieux, committed to offering innovative solutions in health, with an investment of 833 million euros. Elkann will join the company’s board of directors. Valued at over 8 billion euros and present in 45 countries, Institut Mérieux has 21,000 employees worldwide and has a turnover of 4 billion. President is Alain Mérieux, vice president his son Alexandre, who is also CEO of the main subsidiary, bioMérieux, a listed company and world leader in in vitro diagnostics.
There are many similarities between the two realities. Both controlled by a family group, with roots in Savoy (Fiat in Turin, the Institut in Lyon) and with origins at the end of the 19th century. Founded 125 years ago, the Institut Mérieux is dedicated to the fight against infectious diseases and cancers. “The investment of Exor – explains a note – establishes a partnership between two families that boast a century of industrial entrepreneurial successes and a proven ability to know how to renew their activities, seizing the opportunities deriving from the paradigm changes that have occurred over the course five generations “.
Exor will provide additional resources to Institut Mérieux to support its growth and continue to offer increasingly innovative solutions to complex health problems around the world. The Agnelli holding will be the privileged partner for the future development of Institut Mérieux. One third of the amount of the reserved capital increase of 833 million euros will be paid immediately upon completion of the transaction, scheduled for the summer of 2022, while the remainder will be paid within the next 12 months.
“For some time we have admired the Institut Mérieux and the entrepreneurial culture that the Mérieux family has successfully developed, together with their strong commitment to solving the most important challenges in medicine – comments Elkann – We want to build large companies and we are excited to contribute with Alain and Alexandre to accelerate the growth of Institut Mérieux. For us, this is a unique opportunity to enter the health sector together with a solid partner with whom we share the same values and a long-term horizon ».
Particular emphasis is given to Elkann’s entry into the Board of Directors of the Institut. For him, entering the control room of such an important group represents a very effective tool for acquiring know-how in a sector in which Exor has decided to bet with conviction.
“I am very happy with this European partnership, which unites our two families, in the year in which Institut Mérieux celebrates its 125th anniversary – says president Alain Mérieux – I have a deep relationship with Italy, and the partnership with Exor represents an ideal choice. John, Alexandre and I in fact have strong ties with our territories of origin, Lyon and Turin, and we share the same entrepreneurial and industrial culture, and the same long-term vision ».
In fact, Alexandre Mérieux concludes: «The support of a recognized and prestigious international company such as Exor will allow us to further invest in the development of each of our businesses, while preserving their independence. Together we will work to evaluate investment opportunities that will allow us to continue improving health around the world with a long-term perspective ».