* Endurance raises offer by $2.00 to $49.50 per share
* Says Morgan Stanley committed to provide a $1 bln loan
(Adds more details, Aspen statement, share price)
June 2 Endurance Specialty Holdings'
increased offer to buy Aspen Insurance Holdings was
rejected for the second time but the insurer said it was willing
to launch a proxy fight to get the deal done.
Endurance said on Monday it raised the offer by $2.00 to
$49.50 per share, giving Aspen shareholders the option of taking
cash or shares or a combination of both.
The offer values Aspen at $3.2 billion.
Endurance said it would call for a special general meeting
of Aspen shareholders, where they would consider a proposal to
increase the size of Aspen's board to 19 from 12 members. This
would result in a majority of Aspen's directors standing for
election next year.
Aspen shares rose as much as $46.85 on Monday. Up to
Friday's close, they had risen nearly 17 percent since April 14
when Endurance first disclosed its unsolicited bid.
"In addition to grossly undervaluing Aspen, the proposal
represents a strategic mismatch and, based on our conversations
with major clients and brokers, would result in significantly
greater dis-synergies than Endurance claims," Aspen Chairman
Glyn Jones said in a statement.
Reuters reported last month that Endurance was considering
increasing its offer to acquire Aspen Insurance to around $50
Endurance said Morgan Stanley had committed to provide a
$1.0 billion bridge loan to fund the takeover.
The company had previously said it would fund the
acquisition partly through proceeds of $1.05 billion from a
placement of new shares to investors led by CVC Capital Partners
Advisory and its affiliates.
Aspen's shares closed at $45.33 on the New York Stock
Exchange on Monday.
(Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri and Anil D'Silva in Bangalore;
Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)