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Wabash Rises After Agreeing to Buy Walker Group: Chicago Mover

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Wabash National Corp., a maker of trailers for semi-trucks, rose 9.5 percent after agreeing to acquire Walker Group Holdings LLC, which makes tanks and equipment for shipping liquids.

Wabash gained 93 cents to $10.71 at the close in New York. It earlier reached $11.55, the biggest intraday gain since March 2010. The shares have risen 37 percent this year, after falling 34 percent in 2011.

Wabash, based in Lafayette, Indiana, is paying $360 million in cash for Walker Group and expects the acquisition to immediately add to net income. The company also expects the deal to close the next quarter, Wabash said today in a statement.

Wabash has financing commitments of as much as $450 million from Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. to pay for the purchase. Based in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, Walker Group had net income of $28 million on $344 million in revenue in fiscal 2011. Walker is owned by Insight Equity Holdings LLC, a Southlake, Texas-based private equity firm.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Clothier in Southfield, Michigan at mclothier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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