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Germany's Siemens has agreed to buy U.S. oil field equipment maker Dresser-Rand for $7.6 billion in cash, aiming to catch up with arch-rival General Electric in a booming U.S. shale gas market.As part of that drive, the group said Monday that it had also agreed to sell its stake in household appliances joint venture BSH to partner Robert Bosch, which will bring in 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion) to help finance the Dresser-Rand deal.Siemens has long coveted Dresser-Rand, but shrank in the past from making a formal bid, balking at its high valuation.Siemens lost out to GE in a bidding war for the energy business of France's Alstom in June.Siemens said its $83 per-share bid was unanimously supported by Dresser-Rand's board of directors.The Dresser-Rand deal will eclipse Siemens' acquisitions of recent years.According to JP Morgan analysts, Siemens paid 12.5 times earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the Rolls-Royce assets, compared with the 20 times it is now offering to Dresser-Rand, which underscores the high valuation for the deal.
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