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Sweden's Husqvarna to Buy Gardena of Germany for $964 Million

Swedish outdoor appliance maker Husqvarna AB said Thursday it is buying Gardena AG of Germany for $964 million to broaden its range of garden products.

Husqvarna said it is buying Ulm, Germany-based Gardena from Industri Kapital, a private equity firm that has owned the business since 2002, and expects the acquisition to be finalized during the first quarter of 2007.

Husqvarna produces chain saws, lawn mowers and appliances such as trimmers and leaf blowers. Gardena focuses on irrigation products, and also produces garden tools, ponds and pumps.

Gardena's range "compliments Husqvarna's powered garden products for the consumer market, with some overlapping within electric products," Husqvarna said in a statement. "Synergies are expected in several areas such as sales, product development, administration, purchasing and manufacturing."

Gardena had sales of $558 million in the fiscal year through September. The company, whose production is based in Germany and the Czech Republic, has some 2,900 employees.

Husqvarna, which was spun off earlier this year from Electrolux AB, said it expects Gardena to make a positive contribution to its net income in 2007.