15 April 2014News

Endurance attacks Aspen’s ‘entrenched’ position

Endurance has said that Aspen’s rejection of its $3.2 billion offer for the company denies its shareholders an “opportunity to realise value”, adding that Aspen faces “limitations” if it continues to pursue its current go-it-alone strategy.

In a strongly worded response to Aspen’s unanimous rejection of Endurance’s overture, Endurance said that it believes that shareholders will recognise the value of its offer, which it says delivers “compelling value” to Aspen shareholders.

"That's a lot of value to leave on the table," says John Charman, chairman and CEO of Endurance.  "Cut through the rhetoric, and this transaction is all about value and the fact that Aspen shareholders are being denied the opportunity to realize that value.”

Charman accused Aspen of pursuing an unsuccessful strategy and encouraged shareholders to consider the proposal, which constitutes a 21 percent premium to Aspen's closing share price as of April 11, 2014 and 1.16x Aspen's December 31, 2013 diluted book value per share.

Endurance described Aspen objections to the potential acquisition as “red herring objections”, adding that the Aspen board has established entrenched positions and has a “past record of ignoring the best interests of Aspen shareholders”.

“Aspen's "rejection" is simply an attempt to deflect from the highly attractive premium value the Endurance proposal represents”, said Endurance.

Endurance added that Aspen’s criticisms of Endurance and its offer were a smokescreen to draw attention away from the company’s superior growth in book value per share compared with Aspen.

Endurance also defended Charman, stating that he “has a long and stellar track record of creating tremendous value for investors, and team-oriented, entrepreneurial corporate cultures for employees. His willingness to invest $25 million of his own personal funds in this transaction makes his confidence in future value creation in the combination manifest.”

It is evident that neither side is willing to pull any punches.