UPDATE 1-Kirby to buy K-Sea for $335 mln

NEW YORK, March 13 Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:01pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 13 (Reuters) - Barge operator Kirby Corp (KEX.N) has agreed to buy K-Sea Transportation Partners KSP.N, an operator of tank barges and tugboats for refined petroleum products, for $335.3 million in cash and stock.

Under the terms of the agreement, K-Sea's common stockholders will have the right to receive $8.15 in cash for each share, or $4.075 in cash plus 0.0734 of a Kirby common stock, the two companies announced on Sunday.

The price represents a 26 percent premium to K-Sea's closing price on Friday. The transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of this year.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim; editing by Gunna Dickson)