Chairman Glyn Jones calls bid ‘backwards step in ill-conceived transaction’

Aspen has rejected a revised bid from rival Endurance as a “backwards step in their efforts to pursue what has always been an ill-conceived transaction”.

Directors of the Bermudian (re)insurer said Endurance’s $49.50 per share bid was an even lower multiple of book value per share than its initial bid, given its strong 4.4% growth in the first quarter.

Chairman Glyn Jones added: “In addition to grossly undervaluing Aspen, the proposal represents a strategic mismatch and, based on our conversations with major clients and brokers, would result in significantly greater dis-synergies than Endurance claims.

“Moreover, the revised proposal does nothing to address additional serious concerns we raised with respect to Endurance’s prior proposal, including a stock consideration that is highly unappealing and financing terms that remain unclear and lack certainty.”

Aspen’s directors rejected the bid when it was made privately last month.

Endurance said it would pursue legal action to force a meeting of Aspen’s shareholders.

Endurance chairman and chief executive John Charman said: “In our extensive discussions with many of Aspen’s shareholders they have expressed broad support for the strategic and financial merits of the proposed transaction.

“Notwithstanding that support, Aspen’s board and management have refused to engage with us in any manner whatsoever, even after we again approached them privately with a significantly increased proposal.”