Hudson’s Bay Co., the operator of Canada’s largest department store chain, agreed to acquire luxury retailer Saks Inc. for $2.4 billion, creating a company that will operate 320 stores in North America.

The purchase price of $16 a share will be paid in cash, the companies said today in a statement. That represents a 30 percent premium to Saks’s closing price on May 20, the day before media reports began, according to the statement. Including debt, the transaction is valued at $2.9 billion.

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