Norwegian fertilizer company Yara International ASA said Monday it has agreed to acquire U.S. competitor Terra Industries Inc. for $4.1 billion.
Yara said it would pay $41.10 per share of Terra stock, a 23.6 percent premium on Friday's closing share price.
The Norwegian company said in a statement that the boards of directors of both Yara and Terra approved the acquisition unanimously.
Yara plans to fund the deal in part by raising $2 billion-$2.5 billion in a rights issue.
The deal is expected to close in June 2010 on the conditions of the rights issue, Terra shareholder approval and the approval of regulatory authorities, Yara said.
The company said the cash call has the support of its largest shareholder, the Norwegian government, which holds over one-third of Yara shares. The rights issue will also be underwritten by Citi, Deutsche Bank, Nordea and Norway's National Insurance Fund.
Yara shares fell 6 percent, to 228.10 kroner ($38.47), in morning trading in Oslo.
"Yara is committed to the U.S. market, and this transaction presents an attractive opportunity for both companies to strengthen their positions in the U.S.," said Yara CEO Joergen Ole Haslestad, calling the two fertilizer companies "a perfect fit."
The two companies are already part of a joint operation in the U.K.
U.S. chemical manufacturer CF Industries Holdings Inc. withdrew a hostile takeover of Terra in January, saying the company had become too expensive after Terra share price skyrocketed nearly 96 percent in 2009.
Based in Sioux City, Iowa, Terra has about 940 employees in the U.S. and Canada. Yara employs 8,000 people worldwide and provides fertilizer to 120 countries.
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