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Axcan Holdings Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire Dutch pharmaceutical company Eurand N.V. in a cash deal worth roughly $583 million, the companies announced Wednesday.

Axcan, which has corporate offices in Quebec and specializes in pharmaceuticals that treat gastrointestinal disorders, will pay $12.00 per share for Eurand. The agreement calls for a wholly owned subsidiary of Axcan to put forth a tender offer to Eurand’s shareholders for all outstanding shares. An independent special committee of Eurand’s board of directors also was involved in the negotiations and approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.

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