Aspen has welcomed the recommendations of Glass Lewis & Co, the third advisory firm to recommend Aspen shareholders reject Endurance’s proposals.
Along with ISS and Egan-Jones Proxy Services, Glass Lewis has questioned the merits of the proposals. It cited the cost and distraction of holding a special meeting as being the main reasons for rejecting the move but has not, however, commented on the merits of the takeover itself.
Chris O’Kane, Aspen’s chief executive officer, said: “With Glass Lewis’s recommendation, all three leading independent proxy advisory firms are recommending that Aspen shareholders reject both of Endurance’s proposals. Endurance’s inadequate offer continues to weaken as Aspen delivers strong operating results and increases shareholder value. But rather than offering real value, Endurance continues to pursue coercive legal tactics in a forlorn effort to buy Aspen at the lowest possible price. We urge shareholders to reject both of Endurance’s proposals.”
The report, by Glass Lewis, said: “In our view, given that the Aspen board appears to have acted in good faith with Endurance, the Aspen board considered Endurance's proposals on multiple occasions and formed a reasonable basis to reject such proposals and the company continues to report solid performance on a stand-alone basis, shareholder authorisation of an attempt to override the board's conclusions by seeking a court-ordered special meeting is not warranted.
“We believe Endurance has failed to make a compelling case for Aspen shareholders to support the proposed authorisations.”
Aspen, Endurance, Glass Lewis & Co, Chris O'Kane, North America, Bermuda