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Shareholders in Brazil's Fibria agree to merger with pulp rival Suzano

SAO PAULO, March 16 (Reuters) - Controlling shareholders in Brazilian pulpmaker Fibria Celulose SA have agreed to merge the company with rival Suzano Papel e Celulose SA to create the world's largest market pulp producer, according to a statement.

Shareholders Votorantim Participações SA and BNDESPar, the investment arm of Brazil's state development bank BNDES, decided in favor of Suzano's proposal even after Netherlands-based rival Paper Excellence BV raised its bid for Fibria on Wednesday.

BNDESPar will receive 8.5 billion reais ($2.59 billion) in cash as well as stock in the new company, the statement said. The transaction is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities, it added. ($1 = 3.2854 reais) (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, editing by Daniel Flynn)