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Transatlantic Shareholder Tweedy Browne Opposes Allied Deal

Transatlantic Holdings Inc. investor Tweedy Browne Co. said it opposes the reinsurer’s planned $3.2 billion merger with Allied World Assurance Company Holdings AG because it believes the price is too low.

“It is really puzzling to us why they would want to sell the company at a 20 percent discount from book value,” said Tom Shrager, one of four managing directors at Tweedy Browne, in a phone interview today. “Simply doing it for size is not a good enough reason to sell at this big discount.”

Transatlantic investors including Davis Selected Advisers LP, which has a stake of about 24 percent, have expressed reservations about the deal with Zug, Switzerland-based Allied. Tucson, Arizona-based Davis said yesterday that it may oppose the sale and approach other companies about alternatives.

Tweedy Browne held more than 2 percent of Transatlantic’s shares as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The deal values New York-based Transatlantic at $51.10 a share based on Allied’s June 10 closing price. That’s 16 percent more than Transatlantic’s close that day. Transatlantic slipped $1.47, or 3 percent, to $48.04 at 3:44 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Allied dropped $1.36, or 2.4 percent, to $54.66.

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