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Endurance terminates takeover bid for Aspen Insurance


Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. on Wednesday said it has terminated its offer to acquire Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. and will not be pursuing its board size increase and scheme of arrangement proposals.

Pembroke, Bermuda-based Endurance was in the throes of a $3.2 billion hostile takeover attempt of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Aspen that began in mid-April but suffered a setback last Friday when Aspen shareholders — by a substantial margin — rejected Endurance's proposals to vote on a board size increase and scheme of arrangement, a mechanism under Bermuda law.

“We appreciate the support of those Aspen shareholders who voted for Endurance's proposals,” John Charman, chairman and CEO of Endurance, said in a statement. “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 realize the compelling value.”

“While the strategic and financial benefits of Endurance's proposed transaction are plainly evident, our management and Board of Directors recognize the importance of being responsible custodians of our own shareholders' capital,” Mr. Charman added.

Analysts had become increasingly pessimistic about the bid's chances for success even before the results of Friday's votes. An equity note from Barclays P.L.C. earlier in July predicted Endurance would not succeed in its hostile takeover bid of Aspen.