By David French

NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters)A consortium led by insurer Arch Capital Group Ltd ACGL.O has made an approximately $500 million offer to acquire reinsurance firm Watford Holdings Ltd WTRE.O, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The bid comes more than a year after Watford went public. Since then, its shares have lost about a third of their value as investors questioned the company’s ability to generate enough from investment returns to adequately cover its expenses as it paid out on insurance policies. Activist investor Capital Returns Management LLC called in May for Watford to be sold.

Arch has partnered with private equity firms to offer about $26 per share for Watford, the sources said. Watford shares ended trading in New York on Tuesday at $17.87.

Watford has retained investment bank Morgan Stanley to review the offer and decide on its next

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