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Endurance will not succeed with hostile takeover of Aspen: Barclays

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Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. likely will not complete its attempted $3.2 billion hostile takeover of Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd., according to an equity research note from Barclays P.L.C.

London-based Barclays said in its note Wednesday that three leading proxy advisory firms — Institutional Shareholders Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland; Egan Jones Ratings Co., Haverford, Pennsylvania; and Glass Lewis & Co. L.L.C., San Francisco — have recommended that Aspen shareholders reject the proposed deal from Endurance.

“The outcome of the investor vote tends to move in lockstep with the proxy advisory firms' recommendations in part because proxy advisers tend to solicit feedback from investors. As a result, ENH appears unlikely to acquire AHL,” said Barclays in its research note.

Barclays also said Endurance will probably decide by the end of the month whether to continue to attempt the Aspen takeover.

“The shareholder vote is due by July 25, and ENH will likely decide whether to pursue the deal by the end of July,” said Barclays in its note.

The two companies have been engaged in an increasingly bitter dispute since Pembroke, Bermuda-based Endurance took its offer public April 14 after approaching Aspen privately as early as February. Hamilton, Bermuda-based Aspen has repeatedly urged its shareholders to reject the offer.

Endurance claims increased scale and synergies will allow a combined entity to be more competitive, while Aspen rejects this logic and claims that Endurance is trying to acquire Aspen opportunistically and inexpensively.

Aspen declined to comment. An Endurance representative said the company had no comment.