General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) said Wednesday it will buy two mining equipment companies as it seeks to expand in the $61 billion global mining supplier industry.

Fairfield, Conn.-based GE will pay 700 million Australian dollar ($696 million) for Australia's Industrea Ltd. (Australia: IDL), 5.5 times the company's 2011 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. GE has also signed a letter of intent to acquire Glen Lyn, Va.-based Fairchild International, which makes underground coal mining equipment, for an undisclosed sum. Both companies will be folded into GE's Transportation division.

Industrea has over 700 employees and seven Australia locations, as well as presence in China. Its four divisions include mining equipment, technology, gas management and mining services.

“We believe that Industrea’s business can grow more rapidly by expanding its product suite and geographic reach combined with GE’s technical expertise and global customer relationships, said Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO of GE Transportation in a statement.

Industrea shareholders must approve the transaction in the second half of 2012.

Fairchild, which is privately held, produces mining scoops, haulage systems and maintenance vehicles for U.S. companies. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.

Shares of Industrea surged 37 cents, or 43 percent, to 1.23 Australian dollars at Wednesday's close. Shares of GE were up 3.8 percent to $19.10 in mid-Wednesday trading.