Wabash National Corp. has agreed to buy Walker Group Holdings, which owns Brenner, Garlite, Progress, Tri-State Tank and other builders of tank trailers, truck bodies and engineered systems for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The $360 million cash purchase will enable Wabash to diversify beyond its principal business of designing and manufacturing van, reefer, flatbed, dropdeck and other trailers, a company announcement said. The deal is subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close in the second quarter.

Walker "has a leading position in nearly every one of its product categories, well-known brands, strong customer relationships that span over decades, and high margin products supported by industry-leading innovation and low cost manufacturing," says Wabash's president and CEO, Richard Giromini.

He indicated that Walker Group Holdings' chief, Doug Chapple, will remain on board with his executive team, and that the two companies will combine best practices and other strengths. Walker Holdings is headquartered in New Lisbon, Wis., and Wabash is in Lafeyette, Ind.