CLEVELAND (Dec. 5)—Parker Hannifin Corp. said today it has reached an agreement to acquire the operations of ITR S.p.A., an Italian manufacturer of hose, fittings and rubber compounds, from the SAIAG Group, a maker of aluminum foils and thermoformed products for industrial and consumer applications. The $68 million purchase, which was a cash transaction, will close during the first quarter of 2002, Parker Hannifin said. SAIAG said it decided to divest the ITR hose business because it did not fit with the company's long-term strategic objectives. "The acquisition of ITR will complement the products Parker gained through its recent acquisition of Dayco," said Phil Stamp, president of Parker's Fluid Connectors Group-Europe. Veniano, Italy-based ITR had sales of about $147 million in 2000 and operates seven manufacturing facilities in Italy, Brazil and China. ITR facilities will be integrated into Parker's fluid connectors business along with the company's 1,600 employees, Parker said.