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Aspen Says Investors Reject Endurance Plan for Board

Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. said the insurer’s investors didn’t support plans from hostile bidder Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. to shake up their company’s board.

“The overwhelming majority of Aspen shareholders participating in the consent solicitation have rejected both of Endurance’s proposals,” Bermuda-based Aspen said yesterday in a statement. The announcement was based on preliminary results at the close of business yesterday, Aspen said.

Endurance was asking Aspen shareholders to approve a special meeting and increase the size of the company’s board to 19 from 12 to ease a takeover. Aspen said that investors owning at least 76 percent of the shares opposed each of the proposals.

Endurance had offered about $3.2 billion in cash and stock, based on its share price on June 2, when the company made its second bid. Bermuda-based Endurance said a combination would add scale and diversify risk. Aspen said the offer was too low.

ISS Proxy Advisory Services, Egan-Jones Proxy Services and Glass Lewis & Co. recommended that Aspen shareholders reject the proposals. Ruth Pachman, a spokeswoman for Endurance at Kekst & Co., declined to comment.

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