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Deere to buy German road construction equipment maker

NEW YORK (AP) — John Deere, famous for its green and yellow farm tractors, will pay almost $5 billion to buy Germany’s Wirtgen, a maker of pavers, compacters and other machinery used in road construction.

Moline, Illinois’ Deere & Co. says the deal will help its construction business expand internationally. Wirtgen’s machines are used to lay concrete and asphalt for highways and roads, crush large rocks and to flatten roads after hot asphalt has been laid down.

Deere says it plans to keep Wirtgen’s brands, employees and its business operations.

The deal is expected to close before the end of January, and values Wirtgen at about $5.2 billion including debt.