Investment manager Apollo valued outstanding shares in Aspen at £33.13 each

Aspen Insurance has agreed to sell all its remaining shares to a group of investors managed by Apollo Global Management.

Investment manager Apollo agreed to use funds from the group to purchase all outstanding shares of Aspen for $42.75 (£33.13) per share in cash, representing an equity value of around $2.6bn (£2.02bn).  

In May shares in Aspen had jumped on talk of a takeover, with reports the insurer had received an offer valuing shares at $50 per share.

This followed a set of “deeply disappointing” results reported in January, which saw chief executive Stephen Postlewhite leave the business.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to approval of regulators and Aspen’s shareholders and the satisfaction of other closing conditions.

Aspen’s group chief executive Chris O’Kane said the deal would bring additional scale to Aspen.

He said: “This transaction is a testament to the strength of Aspen’s franchise, the quality of our business and the talent and expertise of our people.

“Under the ownership of the Apollo Funds, Aspen will have additional scale and access to Apollo’s investment and strategic guidance, which will help us to accelerate our strategy and take Aspen to the next level.

“We are excited about the future as we embark on a new chapter in our history with a partner that understands our strengths, culture and customer-centric philosophy.”

Specialty insurance

And partner at Apollo said that he was also “tremendously excited” at the deal.

He added: “We believe that Aspen benefits from strong underwriting talent, specialised expertise and longstanding client relationships which makes them well positioned in the market.

“We look forward to working with Aspen to build on the existing high quality specialty insurance and reinsurance business and we aim to leverage Apollo’s resources and deep expertise in financial services to support the company as it embarks on its next chapter.”

Upon completion of the transaction, Aspen will be a privately held portfolio company of the Apollo funds and Aspen’s ordinary shares will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Glyn Jones, chairman of Aspen’s board of directors, said: ”This transaction, which is the outcome of a thorough strategic review by Aspen’s board of directors, provides shareholders with immediate value and will allow Aspen to work with an investor that has substantial expertise and a successful track record in the (re)insurance industry.”

Apollo was advised by Willis Towers Watson and Libero Ventures and Sidley Austin LLP served as its legal counsel on this transaction.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisors to Aspen and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as its legal counsel on this transaction.