Deere & Co. said Thursday it has agreed to acquire German privately held company the Wirtgen Group for a total consideration of 4.6 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in cash, including debt. The company had 2.6 billion euros of sales in the year through Dec. 31. Deere is expecting the deal to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. The Wirtgen Group is the world's biggest maker of road construction equipment, the company said in a statement. Deere expects the deal to immediately boosted per-share earnings and will finance it with a mixture of cash and new equipment operations debt financing. Deere shares were not yet active premarket, but have gained 19% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.
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