Hardy wanted much more than £3.50 a share

Beazley has withdrawn its offer for fellow Lloyd's insurer Hardy Underwriting after Hardy rejected a new, third offer of £3.50 a share.

Beazley submitted a final proposal for £3.50 a share to Hardy's board on December 1 but at a meeting between the two companies yesterday, Hardy's advisers said the board would only be prepared to recommend a price "substantially in excess" of the final proposal.

Beazley initially offered £3 a share for Hardy on October 6, but after being rejected returned to the table with £3.30 a share a month later. After this second offer was also rejected, Beazley tried to appeal to Hardy's shareholders to accept the offer.

On November 26, Hardy moved to reassure shareholders of the value inherent in the company by announcing a share buy-back and the provision of third-party capital to Syndicate 382 by Bahrain-based insurance group Arig. Hardy also announced that it would begin revealing the amount by which its reserves exceeded actuarial best estiomates, starting with its full-year 2010 results.