PEORIA, Ill. - Caterpillar acquired the Minerbio, Italy-based Bitelli SpA in what Caterpillar engineers see as a move that will harness the two companies' expertise in the development of road construction products. Bitelli is a leading manufacturer of asphalt pavers, cold planers, compactors and other road maintenance products with four plants in Italy.

The deal includes all Bitelli stock plus the acquisition of all distribution and service agreements with company dealers worldwide by Caterpillar.

The acquisition expands Caterpillar's presence in Europe, adding to its 30 manufacturing plants, 27 dealers and estimated 27,000 employees across the continent. Bitelli employed more than 300 individuals at its Italian operations.