NU Online News Service, Sept. 2, 11:48 a.m. EDT

Transatlantic Holdings Inc.’s board of directors is not pursuing a “value-maximizing strategy” and is putting up “self-imposed roadblocks” to discussions with Validus Holdings, according to a Validus letter to Transatlantic shareholders.

Validus previously sent a letter to Transatlantic shareholders urging them to vote against a proposed merger with Allied World Assurance Co.

Davis Selected Advisers Ltd., the largest Transatlantic shareholder, has since said it will oppose the company’s acquisition by Allied World.

In June New York-based Transatlantic and Switzerland-based Allied World announced a $3.2 billion merger agreement (based on Allied World’s stock price at the time). The new company is to be called TransAllied.

Bermuda’s Validus Holdings later submitted an unsolicited stock and cash offer of $3.5 billion.

In its latest letter to Transatlantic shareholders, Validus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward J. Noonan says, “As you know, your board of directors has set Sept. 20, 2011 as the date for Transatlantic’s special meeting of stockholders to vote on the proposed Allied World takeover of Transatlantic. However, we believe that greater value is available to Transatlantic stockholders and that Allied World’s inferior proposal continues to offer you lower value for your shares than is available under Validus’ superior proposal.”

Validus asks the shareholders to “preserve the right to obtain greater value” by voting no on the Allied World proposal.