Early end to Bermuda re(insurer) bid

Endurance has withdrawn its offer to acquire Bermuda rival Aspen and slammed the companies “focus on defensive self-preservation tactics”.

The (re)insurer’s takeover bid was due to expire on 29 August, but chairman and chief executive John Charman said it had become unpractical.

The move came after 19% of Aspen’s shareholders backed the scheme, a high enough proportion that Endurance could have petitioned Bermuda’s Supreme Court for a voluntary scheme of arrangement, but was nonetheless a minority.

“We appreciate the support of those Aspen shareholders who voted for Endurance’s proposals,” Charman said.

“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.”

He added that Endurance would “continue to focus on the successful execution of our business plan and the accretion of value for our shareholders”.

Aspen had rejected the unsolicited takeover bid as an “ill-conceived transaction”, but Endurance had pressed ahead to force a meeting of Aspen’s shareholders.

Aspen chief executive Chris O’Kane said last night: “We thank our shareholders for their input, our valued customers and brokers for their loyalty and business, and especially thank our employees for their hard work, focus and ongoing dedication to the highest levels of service in our industry. We remain intensely focused on the continued successful execution of our strategic plan, building value for our shareholders and serving our customers.”