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Magna International Inc., Canada's largest auto parts maker, agreed to buy the operations of DaimlerChrysler AG's New Venture Gear unit for about $435 million to expand sales of drivetrain components.

New Venture had $1.5 billion in sales last year and has factories in Syracuse, N.Y., and Roitzsch, Germany, said Magna in a statement. Aurora, Ontario-based Magna said in December it was in talks with the automaker.

If completed, the agreement would expand Magna's already large presence in Michigan, which includes 7,000 employees, 20 plants and 12 research centers.

The agreement calls for Magna to initially buy an 80-percent stake in New Venture's U.S. operations, which also include a sales office and research center in Troy, and acquire the rest in 2007. Magna said it will buy the German plant directly. The total purchase will be in cash and notes.

Magna said the acquisition will expand its drivetrain manufacturing and development in North America and Europe. New Venture's products help convey power from the engine to the wheels. The unit's customers include DaimlerChrysler, General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG.

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