Exor (company)

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Exor N.V.
FormerlyIstituto Finanziario Industriale
TypePublic (N.V.)
IndustryHolding company
Founded27 July 1927; 96 years ago (1927-07-27)
FounderGiovanni Agnelli
Key people
Nitin Nohria (chairman)
John Elkann (CEO)
ProductsDiversified investments, reinsurance, media, automotive, heavy equipment, sports, internet
RevenueIncrease €41.884 billion (2022)[1]
Increase €4.227 billion (2022)[1]
Total assetsDecrease €83.699 billion (2022)[1]
Total equityIncrease €20.627 billion (2022)[1]
OwnerAgnelli family (through Giovanni Agnelli B.V.) (52.01%)
Number of employees
80,932 (approx) (2022)[1]

Exor N.V. is a Dutch holding company incorporated in the Netherlands and controlled by the Agnelli family through privately held company Giovanni Agnelli B.V. In 2021, it recorded revenues of more than $136 billion,[1] with a net asset value of around $31 billion, becoming the 37th largest group in the world by revenue according to the 2021 Fortune Global 500 list.[2] It has a history of investments running over a century, which currently include auto and truck manufacturers Stellantis, Ferrari, and Iveco, agricultural and construction firm CNH Industrial, the association football club Juventus, the international newspaper The Economist, and the Italian media company GEDI Gruppo Editoriale. In May 2023, Exor launched its investment management company Lingotto.[3]


Founding and growth (1927–2007)[edit]

Giovanni Agnelli, Exor founder

The company was founded on 27 July 1927 under the name of Istituto Finanziario Industriale (IFI) by the then senator Giovanni Agnelli, with the aim of reuniting under a single company all the shareholdings he had acquired, mainly in industrial sectors. In 1957, IFI acquired control of Istituto Commerciale Laniero Italiano (ICLI), which conducted activities in the financial field, particularly in the textile and wool sector. In 1963, it extended its operations to the banking system and changed its name to Istituto Bancario Italiano Laniero (IFIL). Three years later, having spun off the banking business to Banca Subalpina, the company became IFIL, playing a parallel role to that of IFI and conducting similar investment management activities.[4]

Over the following decades, IFI gained holdings in numerous firms, including Buzzi Unicem, Rockefeller Center, Cinzano, Club Med, and 3M, which have been divested over time. IFI listed preference shares on the Borsa Italiana in 1968. At its peak in the 1980s, the company controlled, either directly or indirectly, around a quarter of the Italian stock exchange.[5]

Early investments as Exor (2008–2015)[edit]

A reorganisation of the Agnelli family's holdings in 2008 led to the merger of IFI and IFIL to create Exor, the new name being taken from the French company (then the majority owner of Perrier water and the Château Margaux estate) that it acquired in 1991.[6] The merger by incorporation of IFIL in IFI became effective on 1 March 2009, with the company's name changed to EXOR S.p.A., and four new directors added to the board, to make it 17 members. Exor's first board meeting was held on 2 March 2009, with New York businessman John Elkann as chairman of the board and Carlo Barel di Sant'Albano as CEO. It was held in Turin.[7]

Exor started trading with the ticker BIT: EXO on 2 March 2009. Elkann inherited the business from his grandfather's family, Gianni Agnelli, in 2011. Elkann subsequently began expanding internationally outside of Italy.[5] After its creation, Exor in late 2010 purchased additional stock in Fiat.[8] By 2014, its three major investments were in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), CNH Industrial, and Cushman & Wakefield.[9] Exor actively supported the consolidation of the car industry, including with the creation of FCA in 2014, at which point Exor owned 30% of Fiat.[10] In March 2014, there were reports that Exor was seeking to buy into Swiss Re, with both firms denying the reports.[9]

Major transactions in 2015 included purchasing stock in The Economist Group,[11] as well as PartnerRe,[12] and selling its stake Cushman & Wakefield.[13] On 12 August 2015, it was announced Exor would purchase three-fifths of The Economist Group shares then owned by Pearson PLC,[14] which had held a non-controlling 50% stake since 1928.[15][14] Exor also had held some shares in the Economist Group prior to the deal.[14] With the deal considered to be the "most important change to The Economist's shareholding structure in almost 90 years",[14] the transaction was completed in August 2015, with about 50% of the Economist Group sold for about $715 million back to the group itself, as well as Exor S.p.A. In doing so, Exor paid 15 times the Economist Group's operating profit.[11] On 2 September 2015, Exor sold Cushman & Wakefield to Chicago-based DTZ for $1.28 billion, generating a capital gain of $722 million.[13]

PartnerRe purchase and sale (2016–2022)[edit]

In 2016, Elkann oversaw the company's move of its headquarters from Italy to the Netherlands.[5] That same year, Exor bought PartnerRe with a bid of $140 per share, for a total of $6.9 billion.[12] Originally, it had offered $130 per share and in response Axis Re offered $120.31 per share in paper plus $11.50 in a pre-closing dividend.[16] In March 2020, Exor announced an agreement to sell PartnerRe to French mutual insurer Covéa for $9 billion, plus a $50 million cash dividend upon closing.[17][18] The sale was not finalised, as Covéa withdrew the offer on 12 May 2020.[19] In August 2020, Exor stated that Covéa would invest €1.5 billion, partly in entities managed by PartnerRe.[20] In July 2022, Exor completed the sale of PartnerRe to Covéa for $9.3 billion (about 8.6 billion euros).[21]

Creation of Stellantis (2019–2020)[edit]

In December 2019, FCA and the PSA Group announced a merger, which was to be completed in 12/14 months.[22][23][24] In July 2020, Elkann and the FCA CEO Mike Manley announced that the combined company would be called Stellantis upon completion of the trans-Atlantic merger.[25][26] The merger was completed on 16 January 2021, with its common shares subsequently trading under the ticker symbol STLA on the Borsa Italiana, Euronext Paris, and the New York Stock Exchange. At the completion date of merger, the combined company became the world's fifth-largest car maker by unit sales.[27] On 14 April 2021, Exor and Peugeot 1810, both significant shareholders in Stellantis, signed a five-year agreement.[28]

Recent investments (2020–2023)[edit]

Major investments taking place in 2020 included Shang Xia,[29] GEDI Gruppo Editoriale,[30] and Via Transportation.[31] With the stake later increased to 18.3%,[32] Exor acquired 8.87% of Via Transportation, a ride-share company, for $200 million in April 2020.[33][31] Also in April 2020, Exor purchased 43.7% of the Italian media group GEDI Gruppo Editoriale for €102.4 million from the CIR Group,[34] the holding company of Carlo De Benedetti's family.[35][30] In December 2020, Exor invested around €80 million in the Chinese group Shang Xia, then partnering Shang Xia with Hermés International.[29]

Exor became a minority shareholder of the French fashion house Christian Louboutin in March 2021, purchasing 24% of the capital for 541 million euros.[36] On 16 June 2021, Exor and World-Wide Investments Company Limited of Hong Kong created the company Nuo spa, with 50% owned by Exor and 50% owned by WWICL.[37] In July 2022, by way of a reserved capital increase, Exor acquired 10% of Institut Mérieux for a value of €833 million.[38]

In February 2022, Exor paid $845 million to Italian tax authorities to settle a dispute related to the move of its legal headquarters to the Netherlands in 2016.[39][40] To align with its legal structure as a Dutch company, Exor announced in July 2022 that it would move its shares to Amsterdam from Milan to list on Euronext Amsterdam.[41] In April 2022, Exor invested around US$1.1 billion in the healthcare industry, including a 45% stake in Lifenet Healthcare.[42][43] After a financial scandal hit Juventus in January 2023, the then Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli resigned from the boards of Stellantis and Exor.[44] In April 2023, Elkann remained CEO of Exor, which had around 5 billion euros for acquisitions after selling PartnerRE. It maintained controlling stakes in companies such as Ferrari, CNH Industrial, and Juventus.[45]

On 19 June 2023, Exor announced its partnership with Impala in the joint holding company TagHolding, single shareholder of TagEnergy, a company operating in the renewables and energy storage sectors.[46] On 14 August 2023, Exor acquired 15% of Philips, a multinational company in the health and technology sector, in an operation worth €2.6 billion.[47]

Key people[edit]

Board of Directors[edit]

John Elkann, CEO of Exor

As of 5 June 2023, the Board of Directors in charge of Exor was as follows:[48]

  • Nitin Nohria – chairman
  • John Elkann – chief executive officer
  • Melissa Bethell – non-executive director
  • Marc Bolland – non-executive director
  • Tiberto Ruy Brandolini D'Adda – non-executive director
  • Laurence Debroux – non-executive director
  • Sandra Dembeck – non-executive director
  • Axel Dumas – non-executive director
  • Ginevra Elkann – non-executive director
  • Alessandro Nasi – non-executive director

Partners Council[edit]

On 24 May 2018, Exor established the Partners Council, chaired by former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer and Robey Warshaw partner George Osborne. It brings together a group of business leaders that provide additional external experience and counsel into Exor.[49] On 27 September 2021, former Apple chief design officer Jony Ive, joined Exor's Partners Council along with the announcement of a multi-year collaboration with his creative collective LoveFrom.[50]

As of 22 July 2022, in addition to Elkann, Ive, and Osborne, it consisted of CEO and Spotify founder Daniel Ek, Benefits Management Group chief investment officer Michael Larson, 3G Capital co-founder Jorge Paulo Lemann, Alphabet and Google senior vice president and chief financial officer Ruth Porat, OCI Global CEO Nassef Sawiris; Sequoia Capital China founder and managing partner Neil Shen, Tishman Speyer president and CEO Rob Speyer, Alibaba Group executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai, Index Ventures co-founder Mike Volpi, and 7-Main founder, owner, and chairwoman Ruth Wertheimer.[51]


Since inception in March 2009 and 2021, Exor's total shareholders return was +1,460%, or 24%, on a compound annual rate. The family firm Giovanni Agnelli B.V. owned 52.01% of the share capital in 2021.[52]