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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Swedish steel company SSAB in $1.6 billion bid to merge with Finland's Rautaruukki

STOCKHOLM - The Swedish steel company SSAB AB has made an offer to buy Finnish company Rautaruukki Oyj for 10.2 billion Swedish kronor ($1.6 billion) to create a combined Nordic producer of high-strength steel.

SSAB said Wednesday the boards of the two companies have agreed on the merger and the offer represents a premium of 20 per cent to the average Rautaruukki share price in the last three months.

It said the two largest shareholders in SSAB and Rautaruukki supported the merger, which would create annual cost synergies of up to 1.4 billion kronor (216 million). The new company, based in Stockholm, will have around 17,500 employees and annual steel production of 8.8 million tons.

The deal is subject to clearance by regulatory authorities and is expected to close in April or May.

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