Minerals Technologies Inc. agreed to acquire U.S. clay-products maker Amcol International Corp. for $1.49 billion, ending a monthlong bidding war with France’s Imerys SA.

Minerals Technologies will pay $45.75 a share, the New York-based company and Amcol said today in a joint statement. The deal is expected to close in the first half. Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Amcol said it paid a $39 million termination fee to Imerys, which on Feb. 12 had agreed to acquire the company for $41 a share.

After Mineral Technologies made its initial counteroffer last month, Imerys raised its bid twice, most recently to $45.25 on March 4. Minerals Technologies increased its offer three times, proposing a bid price of $45.75 on March 6.

Amcol supplies bentonite clay, used in metal casting, construction, drilling and landfill liners. MineralsTechnologies says Amcol would complement its environmental, energy and consumer products and will allow the combined company to cut $50 million of costs.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to finance the bid from Minerals Technologies, which is being advised by Lazard Ltd. and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Amcol’s advisers are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Amcol fell 2 percent to $45.71 in New York while Minerals Technologies gained 6.4 percent to $57.87. Imerys rose 0.2 percent to 64.87 euros in Paris.

The $1.49 billion cash value of the offer is based on 32.5 million shares outstanding as of Feb. 13.

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