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Aspen shareholders vote to reject meetings proposed by Endurance

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Shareholders of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. have voted to reject two meeting proposals from Endurance Insurance Holdings Ltd. in the latest round of the battle waged over Endurance's $3.2 billion hostile takeover offer made in April.

Based on preliminary results of the votes, which had a deadline of 5 p.m. Friday, shareholders representing 76% of outstanding shares voted to reject Endurance's proposal to call a special meeting to vote to increase Aspen's board from 12 to 19, Aspen said later that day.

Pembroke, Bermuda-based Endurance had also asked shareholders to vote to ask the Supreme Court of Bermuda, where both companies are domiciled, to call a second meeting of shareholders for a special vote, which was rejected by shareholders holding 81% of Aspen shares.

The vote could have repercussions as Endurance continues to press its case for a takeover, having gone public with its offer in mid-April after approaching Aspen privately as early as mid-February.

In a note two weeks ago, Barclays P.L.C. said it believed Endurance would not be successful in its takeover attempt.