updated 4/3/2006 9:50:00 AM ET 2006-04-03T13:50:00

Constellation Brands Inc., the world's largest winemaker, said Monday it agreed to acquire Vincor International Inc. for about $1.09 billion plus debt. The company had dropped an earlier $1 billion hostile bid for the Canadian winemaker in December.

Under the agreement, Constellation will pay $36.50 Canadian ($31.07) per share in cash for Vincor's 34.8 million shares outstanding, and assume about $250 million Canadian ($220 million) in debt. The transaction is valued at $1.31 billion.

Constellation said the price is at a premium of 15.9 percent to Vincor's closing price on Friday, and represents a 55.5 percent premium to Vincor's price on Sept. 27, before Constellation made its initial offer.

The company said it expects the transaction to close in June and boost fiscal 2007 earnings per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect Constellation to earn $1.77 per share in 2007.

Constellation said it has received all-debt financing for the transaction. The deal was approved by both company's boards but still must be approved by shareholders.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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