Now here's an odd turn of events for you. If you buy into the so-called conventional wisdom, European companies are ossified and unwilling to restructure to remain competitive.

And yet, while General Motors (NYSE:GM) struggles and its management team rearranges the deck chairs, DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX) is going about the business of slimming down and refocusing itself on its core auto and truck businesses.

In its latest move, DaimlerChrysler announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its off-highway business to the Swedish buyout firm EQT. While the company was a bit slippery in talking about its take from the deal, it would seem that it's getting about $1.2 billion in cash from the transaction. With the deal giving the unit an overall enterprise value of about $1.9 billion, EQT would appear to be paying a multiple of just above 1 times revenue for the business, if we annualize the sales through the last nine months.

And what is the business? DaimlerChrysler Off-Highway includes the heavy-motor business MTU Friedrichshafen, as well as the off-highway business of Detroit Diesel. In plainer English, this is a business focused on engines and motors for applications like marine transport, locomotives, power generation, and an assortment of agricultural, mining, construction, and other off-road heavy machinery.

Looking beyond DaimlerChrysler, I'm not sure this deal will make a huge impression on other publicly traded companies. Yes, Cummins (NYSE:CMI) is also a heavy-duty engine maker that competes with both the on-highway business of Detroit Diesel, as well as the off-highway business, but Cummins is mostly seen as a truck engine maker. Still, with Cummins trading at a valuation less than half of sales, perhaps the price paid by EQT suggests a higher multiple is in order.

As for other competitors such as Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Komatsu, and Volvo (NASDAQ:VOLVY), I'd say that the relative significance of off-highway markets is such that this deal won't have a major impact on their valuations. Perhaps EQT will pay more attention to the business than DaimlerChrysler, and maybe that will make it a more formidable competitor down the road, but I don't see this deal really shaking up these stocks much at all.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).