Hardy Rejects Sweetened Offer

November 16, 2010

1thumbsdownwikiLloyd’s of London insurer Beazley threatened to withdraw its bid approach for locally-based rival Hardy Underwriting Bermuda after a sweetened offer worth 174 million pounds was rejected.

Dublin-based Beazley said on Monday it would walk away unless Hardy agreed to discuss its revised 330 pence per share proposal, up from an initial 300 pence last month.

Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Limited is a specialist insurer and reinsurer underwriting in the Lloyd’s market and in various locations around the world. Its local operations are based out of Park Place on Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton.

Hardy said the new proposal still “substantially undervalues” the company, describing it as “an attempt to acquire the company opportunistically.”

Hardy said the indicative revised conditional proposal was received in a second unsolicited letter from Beazley on November 4.

The offer did not reflect Hardy’s history of profitable growth, attractive mix of short-tail lines of business, ability to attract and retain high-quality underwriting teams, prudent reserving policy and successful strategy for controlled growth.

Hardy said its board “views the indicative revised conditional proposal as an attempt to acquire the company opportunistically, taking advantage of both the current market environment and recent, short-term circumstances specific to Hardy.”
Beazley chief executive Andrew Horton told Reuters the company now hoped to discuss its latest proposal directly with Hardy’s shareholders this week.

“If the shareholders are not happy with 330, or if the shareholders who work with Hardy management don’t talk to us, we will be withdrawing our proposal,” Horton said. “We want to have some engagement at the 330 level.”

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