updated 12/22/2005 5:55:20 PM ET 2005-12-22T22:55:20

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s No. 3 gold producer, agreed to acquire Placer Dome Inc. after raising its offer for the Vancouver gold producer to $10.4 billion, the companies said Thursday.

The new offer replaces Barrick’s last offer of about $9.4 billion that had been rejected by the board of Placer Dome, the world’s sixth-largest gold mining company.

Under the agreed to terms, Placer shareholders will get either $22.50 in cash or 0.8269 of a Barrick common share plus 5 cents cash per share. Barrick has limited its cash for the offer at $1.34 billion and shares to be issued at 333 million. Placer’s board unanimously backed the new offer.

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