Endurance still intent on ‘consummating’ Aspen deal
Endurance Specialty has again publically criticised the refusal by the board of Aspen Insurance to consider its $3.2 billion offer for the company. The companies have been in an increasingly bitter war of words over the unsolicited bid for almost two weeks now.
Endurance has reiterated its view that the Aspen board is denying its shareholders the ability to receive what it describes as a highly attractive premium and an ongoing stake in a global industry leader.
“Having already rejected our proposal, Aspen's defensive statement simply repeats inaccurate characterisations and ignores the plain fact that we are offering its shareholders significant value for their shares and the opportunity to participate in a larger, superior organization going forward,” said Michael McGuire, chief financial officer of Endurance.
“This is another clear sign of an entrenched board and management that is not aligned with shareholder interests.
“Endurance remains clearly intent on consummating a transaction and not, as Aspen claims, just 'kicking the tires.' Aspen well knows that customary due diligence is no roadblock and would not present any impediment to closing a negotiated transaction. Moreover, the broad range of Aspen and Endurance shareholders with whom we have been speaking agree with the strategic rationale and financial benefits we outlined. This stands in stark contradiction to Aspen's mischaracterisation of market sentiment, which we strongly question.”
The company also noted that it regards its offer as representing a highly attractive premium for an underperforming company. “Aspen's ‘go it alone’ strategy is cold comfort to investors looking at receiving a significant premium for their shares, given that Aspen has meaningfully underperformed Endurance and its peers since 2009 in combined ratio, return on equity, and growth in book value per share,” Endurance said in a statement.
McGuire added: “We remain fully committed to delivering our highly attractive premium to Aspen shareholders. To date, we have taken a deliberate approach, allowing Aspen ample opportunity at each step to engage with us for the benefit of their shareholders. We will continue to take the steps necessary to make sure Aspen shareholders have the opportunity to realise a significant premium for their shares, even in the face of the misguided resistance of Aspen's board.”