Canada''s Harris Steel Group Inc. has agreed to a $1.07 billion takeover by Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp. The proposal has been endorsed by the board of the Toronto-based company, which employs 3,000 people and specializes in concrete reinforcing steel, wire products and industrial metal grating. Nucor plans to allow Harris Steel to operate as a separate, wholly owned subsidiary upon completion of the acquisition, which will occur upon satisfactory resolution of regulatory approvals in the United States and Canada. The deal, which also has the support of Nucor''s board, is expected to close within two months.

Nucor, which paid $21 million in 2004 to acquire a 50% stake in Harris'' U.S. reinforcing steel products operations, manufactures steel products through facilities in 19 states and is the nation''s largest recycler. According to Nucor, the acquisition would immediately help its earnings and would not affect its supplemental dividend practice.