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Solectron to buy wireless phone repair firm

Solectron (NYSE: SLR) wants to boost its wireless industry service by buying a privately-held handset repair firm.

After market close Monday, contract electronics manufacturer Solectron said it would buy Americom Wireless Services, a Lutherville, Md.-based firm with more than 1,000 employees. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies expect the deal to close in May 2000.

Americom installs, fixes and refurbishes wireless phones, and provides technical customer support for wireless carriers. Solectron said it would offer jobs to about 1,000 Americom employees across the United States.

"With this acquisition, Solectron establishes a focus on the wireless industry to provide a complete range of integrated service offerings to our customers in this strategic market," said William E. Mitchell, president of Solectron's global services business unit.

Contract manufacturers in recent years have been expanding their operations beyond their traditional circuit board business. The communications field is expected to provide of the CEM industry's growth in the near future.

Shares of Solectron have fallen almost 27 percent since peaking in early February. The stock, scheduled to split 2-for-1 on Mar. 8, closed Monday's regular trading at 63, down 1 3/8 for the session.

Among 25 analysts polled by Zack's Investment Research, 24 have some sort of "buy" rating on Solectron.>