NEW YORK - Bermuda reinsurer Validus Holdings won shareholder support for its $1.77 billion acqusition of rival IPC Holdings on Friday, and moved swiftly to close a deal that was months in the making.

Most shareholders who voted their shares supported the takeover, said Validus in a statement.

IPC shares will cease trading on Friday, and holders will receive $7.50 in cash and 0.9727 of a Validus share for each IPC share.

Validus launched its takeover bid for IPC last March, challenging another Bermuda insurer, Max Capital Group's, plans to acquire the major property-catastrophe reinsurer.

The acquisition of IPC greatly increases Validus' capacity to sell reinsurance policies at a time when the prices for this type of coverage have been on the rise.

Reinsurers provide insurance to other insurers, allowing the risk of loss to be spread among several carriers. (Reporting by Lilla Zuill, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)