Validus takes its $3bn bid hostile

US reinsurer Validus Holdings took its $3.2bn (£1.9bn) offer to buy Transatlantic Holdings directly to shareholders yesterday after rejecting its rival’s conditions for merger talks.

Validus said it was unable to start discussions with Transatlantic because of a “standstill” provision that would have prevented it from pursuing its bid without the approval of Transatlantic’s board.

It was the second time in two years that Validus launched a hostile bid for a reinsurer that had already agreed a deal with someone else, after an unsuccessful bid to buy IPC.