updated 10/16/2006 8:49:07 AM ET 2006-10-16T12:49:07

Military and commercial vehicle maker Oshkosh Truck Corp. on Monday said it is buying JLG Industries Inc., a maker of aerial work platforms and booms, for about $3 billion in cash.

Oshkosh chairman, president and CEO Robert G. Bohn, said the deal continues Oshkosh’s transformation into a global speciality vehicle maker.

“It is aligned with our historic acquisition strategy as we expand into complementary markets and it will be instrumental in building our global focus and scale that are increasingly needed to continue to be successful,” Bohn said of JLG.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies and still requires the approval from JLG shareholders and antitrust regulators, is expected to close in 90 days.

The company agreed to pay $28 per share for JLG, which represents a 35 percent premium over the stock’s Friday closing price of $20.75. According to the New York Stock Exchange, JLG has 106.7 million shares outstanding.

Oshkosh will also assume more than $200 million in JLG debt as part of the deal.

JLG shares climbed $6.75, or 33 percent, to $27.50 in premarket trading while Oshkosh shares fell 3 cents to $55.51.

Oshkosh, which plans to finance the purchase with a $3.5 billion line of credit from Bank of America, expects the deal to add “modestly” to per-share earnings in fiscal 2007.

JLG, based in McConnellsburg, Pa., had $2.3 billion in revenues this fiscal year, with sales estimated to grow between 20 and 25 percent next year, Oshkosh said. The company is the top provider of aerial platforms in North America and Europe.

Oshkosh already has 9,400 employees and will be adding JLG’s 4,000, it said.

JLG chairman, president and CEO William M. Lasky said the company expects an easy transition into Oshkosh.

“This transaction is a good fit for JLG,” Lasky said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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