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updated: 12/21/2012 10:37 AM

GE to buy aviation unit of Italy's Avio for $4.3B

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Associated Press

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Industrial conglomerate General Electric plans to buy the aviation business of Italian manufacturer Avio for $4.3 billion to grow its jet propulsion business and strengthen its supply chain.

The Fairfield, Conn., company said Friday that it wants to build its supply chain as it ramps up engine production. The deal also gives GE a chance to offer Avio products outside the aviation industry, in power generation, oil and marine products.

GE will buy Avio S.p.A.'s aviation business from European private equity firm Cinven and the Italian aerospace group Finmeccanica.

Avio has supplied GE Aviation since 1984. The company, which is based in Turin, Italy, employs about 5,300 people. It makes aviation propulsion components and systems for civilian and military aircraft, including low-pressure turbine systems, accessory gearboxes, geared systems and combustors. Last year, its aviation business generated $2.4 billion in revenue, more than half of which was derived from components for GE and GE joint venture engines.

GE isn't buying Avio's space unit, which employs 800 people.

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