General Electric Co., the biggest maker of jet engines, agreed to buy the aerospace-parts business of Avio SpA for $4.3 billion, tightening control over its supply chain as planemakers boost output.

The purchase from Cinven Ltd. and Finmeccanica SpA values Turin-based Avio at 8.5 times estimated earnings for 2012 before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, according to GE, which won't be acquiring the Italian company's space assets.

GE is taking a tighter grip on its supplier base as Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. push production to record levels. The Avio deal follows a partnership with Mitsui & Co. in October and one with Parker Hannifin Corp. last month, transactions focused on components for the company's next-generation commercial engines.

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