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Transatlantic rejects Buffett bid

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) Transatlantic Holdings Inc is rejecting a $3.25 billion takeover offer from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc that was set to expire yesterday.

“The Transatlantic board of directors does not believe the all-cash proposal, at substantially less than book value, would deliver fair value to stockholders and is therefore not accepting it,” New York-based Transatlantic said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Berkshire's National Indemnity renewed its $52-a-share cash bid in a September 16 letter and gave Transatlantic a three-day deadline to accept the deal. Transatlantic's book value, a measure of assets minus liabilities, is $67.76 a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Transatlantic cancelled a deal last week to merge with Allied World Assurance Co Holdings AG amid investor opposition and has shunned an unsolicited offer from Bermuda-based Validus Holdings Ltd. By sticking to its initial bid, Berkshire can protect its reputation for refusing to be pushed into less favourable terms, said Michael Yoshikami, chief investment strategist at YCMNet Advisors, which invests in Buffett's firm.

A Validus spokesman said the company had no comment on yesterday's development.

“It shows discipline,” Yoshikami said before Transatlantic's latest announcement. “They want to make sure that they don't undermine that discipline, because it actually then will cause companies in the future possibly to try to renegotiate.”

Transatlantic dropped 96 cents to $47.81 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading yesterday.

Turned down: Warren Buffett's $3.25 billion bid for Transatlantic is being turned down by the reinsurer's board

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Published September 20, 2011 at 9:00 am (Updated September 20, 2011 at 9:52 am)

Transatlantic rejects Buffett bid

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