AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. has substantially sweetened its offer for Novae Group plc, a Lloyd’s of London specialty insurer and reinsurer.

AXIS, a Bermuda-based specialty insurer and reinsurer, said it will now pay $611.5 million in cash for Novae, up from its $604 million offer first announced in July. The higher bid follows consideration of the agreement by Novae shareholders on Aug. 2, AXIS said.

Albert Benchimol, president and CEO of AXIS Capital, said in prepared remarks that the “final bid “represents compelling and full value for Novae, as recognized by the boards of both companies.”

Benchimol added that “by offering Novae Shareholders an improved cash offer, AXIS aims to bring certainty to the transaction.”

Plans call for funding the offer from AXIS’s existing cash, or borrowed money.

AXIS that the latest offer is a final one, but there is a twist. The company reserves the right to increase its “final offer” if a third party steps in with its own competing bid.

AXIS added that Novae’s board considers the higher offer to be “fair and reasonable” and in “the best interests of Novae shareholders.

Benchimol, in his statement, said that buying Novae “is fully aligned with AXIS Insurance’s international specialty insurance growth strategy and will combine two highly complementary businesses.”

Source: AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd.