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signed an agreement to buy



, a designer of filtration products, in an all-cash deal valued at $72 a share, or $1.35 billion including the assumption of $60 million in debt.

Shares of Cuno closed Wednesday at $54.82. In premarket trading, the stock was up $15.41, or 28%, to $70.23.

Cuno designs and markets a line of filtration products for the separation, clarification and purification of fluids and gasses. The company's products include depth filters and semi-permeable membrane filters used in a variety of potable water, health care and fluid processing applications.

3M filtration products include Filtrete residential and commercial air filters and Empore filtration products used in the health care market.

The company plans to fund the transaction with existing cash. 3M expects the acquisition to add to earnings in 2006. The purchase won't change the company's 2005 earnings per share guidance.

3M said it expects to close the acquisition in the third quarter.