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Hartford Rejects Chubb's $23 Billion Takeover Bid

Hartford Financial Services rejects a $23 billion buyout bid from Chubb.
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Hartford Financial Services  (HIG)  fell Tuesday after the insurer rejected a $23 billion buyout bid from Chubb  (CB) .

Hartford said its board of directors unanimously rejected Chubb’s unsolicited proposal of $65 a share from March 11.

“Hartford determined that entering into discussions regarding a strategic transaction would not be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” Hartford said.

“The board reaffirmed its commitment and resolve in the continued execution of The Hartford’s strategic business plan,” the company said in a statement.

Chubb traded Tuesday at at $157.38, up 0.21%, and Hartford at $66.56, down 1.08%. Hartford shares soared last week on news of the Chubb bid. 

Hartford shares have risen 37% year to date; Chubb has gained 3%.

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“Obviously, the Hartford board is underwhelmed by Chubb’s offer,” David Havens, a credit analyst at Imperial Capital, said in a note to clients. “But, Chubb could certainly come back with sweetened deal terms.”

Chubb has a market cap of about $71 billion, compared to $24 billion for Hartford.

TheStreet rated Chubb as a possibility for buying on the dip Monday as it slid on talk of the Hartford deal.

Morningstar analyst Brett Horn isn’t particularly enthusiastic about the potential takeover. 

“While we are inclined to be somewhat skeptical about the strategic value of this combination and potential value creation, we will maintain our $157 fair value estimate for now,” he wrote in a commentary last week.

“Given [Chubb chief executive Evan Greenberg’s] history, we expected him to ultimately look for additional deals. Still, this is a large one,” Horn said.