Aspen wins battle as Endurance abandons bid


Endurance Specialty has terminated its offer to acquire Aspen Insurance. It blamed its withdrawal on Bermuda’s corporate governance laws and an unwillingness of Aspen's shareholders to take a stand against what it called the defensive self-preservation tactics of the Aspen board.

On Monday, Aspen said that based on preliminary voting results, the majority of Aspen shareholders participating in the consent solicitation had rejected both of Endurance’s proposals.

Endurance made an unsolicited £3.2 billion bid for Aspen earlier this year, which was rejected by the insurer’s board. Since then, the two companies have engaged in a very public war of words as they battle to win the confidence of Aspen’s shareholders.

This culminated in Endurance seeking to force a special general meeting that would have paved the way for Endurance to buy the company.

But it seems the battle is now over and Aspen will remain intact.

John Charman, chairman and chief executive of Endurance, said: “We appreciate the support of those Aspen shareholders who voted for Endurance's proposals. The votes of support for both of our proposals exceeded our stated thresholds.

“However, we believe the current Bermuda corporate governance laws, Aspen's focus on defensive self-preservation tactics rather than value creation and the unwillingness of Aspen's shareholders to take a stand, make it impractical at this time for Aspen shareholders to realise the compelling value of our offer, which as of the close of trading last Friday was equal to $49.60 per Aspen common share.

"While the strategic and financial benefits of Endurance's proposed transaction are plainly evident, our management and board of directors recognise the importance of being responsible custodians of our own shareholders' capital. As we have for the past year, we will continue to focus on the successful execution of our business plan and the accretion of value for our shareholders.”

Aspen, Endurance, Chris O'Kane, Bermuda, North America, John Charman

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