United Fire & Casualty, an Iowa-based property and casualty insurer, has completed its acquisition of Mercer Insurance Group, a New Jersey-based insurer.

United Fire said with this acquisition, there will be no overlap between their agency networks, as Mercer primarily markets in six Western and Mid-Atlantic states in which United Fire has no appointed property and casualty agencies.

The acquisition enabled the United Fire to market through more than 1,000 independent agencies, diversifying exposure to weather and other catastrophe risks across the geographic markets, insurer said.

In addition, the combined company will be able to build on common conservative underwriting and investment cultures.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Mercer Insurance stockholders will receive $28.25 per share in cash, representing an aggregate transaction value of approximately $191m.

United Fire expects that the acquisition will contribute to its net income and return on equity no later than 2012.

United Fire president and CEO Randy Ramlo said the completion of this transaction marks an important milestone for United Fire.

"Today, we significantly expanded the resources to better serve the policyholders and agents by offering additional products and services. With Mercer Insurance, we know that our shared focus on underwriting profitability will achieve the continued strong, consistent results our United Fire stockholders expect," Ramlo said.