Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising Bermuda-based property and casualty insurer Endurance Specialty Holdings on its $3.2 billion hostile bid to take over Aspen Insurance Holdings.
In a letter sent to Aspen’s board Monday morning, Endurance chairman John Charman said his company was taking its $47.50-per-share offer straight to Aspen shareholders after failing to engage the target in deal talks. The offer—a mix of roughly 40 percent cash and 60 percent Endurance common shares—reflects a 21 percent premium over Aspen’s Friday closing price.
Aspen—which, like Endurance, is a Bermuda-based provider of insurance and reinsurance— responded to the would-be acquirer’s overtures Monday by announcing that its board has rejected the unsolicited offer. Aspen chairman Glyn Jones said the “ill-conceived proposal” is not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders and undervalues Aspen. Jones also said the offer carries “substantial execution risks” and expressed doubts about Endurance’s ability to secure both financing for the deal and the required regulatory approvals.
Skadden is advising Endurance with a team that includes New York–based M&A partners Todd Freed and Richard Grossman as well as tax partner Sally Thurston and financial institutions counsel Andrew Alin. The firm previously advised Endurance on a $230 million share offering in 2011.
John Del Col is Endurance’s general counsel.
For its part, Aspen has hired attorneys from Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Willkie Farr & Gallagher for legal advice on the hostile bid. Spokeswomen at both Wachtell and Willkie did not immediately respond to The Am Law Daily’s request for comment or information about which of the firms’ lawyers are working on the matter.
Michael Cain is Aspen’s general counsel.