Rodamco North America

, a Dutch real estate company focused on the U.S., said Tuesday that it had agreed to buy

Urban Shopping Centers


for about $3.4 billion in cash.

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Rodamco said it will pay $48 a share for Chicago-based Urban, which represents a 39% premium over Monday's closing price of $34.44 a share.

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in November.

Rodamco, which already owns 16 shopping malls in the U.S., said the deal will immediately add to the company's earnings.

"This is a rare opportunity to bring together two companies with regional mall portfolios of extraordinary quality," said Gerald Egan, chief executive of Rodamco, in a statement.

Once the deal is completed, Rodamco will become the third-largest regional mall company in the U.S., more than doubling in size to approximately $7 billion in assets. It will have 36 regional malls totaling 40 million square feet with properties in 15 states.