16 July 2014News

Another adviser questions merits of Endurance bid

Another shareholder advisory firm has questioned the merits of Aspen’s shareholders backing Endurance’s proposals that could lead to it acquiring the company.

Glass Lewis & Co, an independent governance analysis and proxy voting firm, has cited the cost and distraction of holding a special meeting as being the main reasons for rejecting the move. It has not, however, commented on the merits of the takeover itself.

Endurance made an unsolicited £3.2 billion bid, amounting to $49.50 per Aspen common share, earlier this year, which was rejected by the target’s board. Since then, the two companies have engaged in a very public war of words as they battle to win the confidence of Aspen’s shareholders. Most recently, Endurance has been trying to force a special general meeting that would pave the way for Endurance to buy the company.

Glass Lewis & Co is the third firm of its type to make similar comments. Advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Egan-Jones Proxy Services have both recommended shareholders reject Endurance’s proposals.

ISS said that the proposals would cause “unnecessary costs” for both shareholders, without providing “equivalent benefit” to Aspen shareholders

Endurance said it was disappointed by the IIS recommendations and argued that it ignores both the merits of its offer and issues of poor corporate governance at Aspen.

Endurance has not yet commented on the note by Glass Lewis & Co.