European Goldfields Ltd said on Sunday that it had agreed to be bought by Eldorado Gold Corp for about C$2.5 billion ($2.4 billion).

The deal represents a 48.4 percent premium based on both companies' closing share prices on Toronto's main stock index as of December 5, the last trading day before European Goldfields said it had received preliminary approaches from third parties.

European Goldfields shareholders will be offered 0.85 Eldorado share and C$0.0001 in cash for each European Goldfields share they own. The exchange ratio represents a value of C$13.08 per share based on the closing stock price of Eldorado on the TSX on December 16 of C$15.39.

European Goldfields has long been seen as a potential target for rivals, particularly after it received a much-delayed Greek mining permit that could turn it into a mid-tier miner and one of Europe's largest primary gold producers.

Following the completion of the deal, current Eldorado shareholders will own about 78 percent of the combined company, while shareholders of European Goldfields will hold around 22 percent, on a fully diluted basis.

European Goldfields was advised by BMO Capital Markets and Lazard & Co, and its legal adviser was Stikeman Elliott LLP. Eldorado's financial advisers included GMP Securities LP and BoA Merrill Lynch. Its legal counsel was Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

(Reporting By Nadia Damouni; Editing by Dale Hudson)