Business & Finance

As many as 6,000 customer-service jobs will be outsourced to IBM in a cost-cutting move, Sprint Corp. is expected to announce Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal and CNN, citing sources familiar with the thinking of Sprint strategists, reported that the communications company aims to save at least $2 billion in the process and that the deal will be worth a similar amount to IBM. IBM already has maintenance and applications-development contracts with Sprint and a customer-care deal with Nextel Communications Inc. Reports last November indicated that another communications powerhouse, AT&T Wireless Services, also was exploring a customer-service outsourcing arrangement, although not necessarily with IBM.

Carrier Corp. plans to eliminate 1,300 jobs by shutting an assembly plant in Morrison, Tenn., the leading maker of heating and air-conditioning units said Monday. Production will be transferred to plants in Tyler, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; and Monterrey, Mexico, by the end of 2005, the company said. Carrier, based in Farmington, Conn., is a subsidiary of United Technologies and has shut 22 facilities in two years as part of a restructuring strategy.

Aerospace firm Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., another United Technologies unit, won a contract valued at $5 billion Monday to supply four key systems for Boeing's new 7E7 Dreamliner aircraft. The midsize planes are scheduled to enter service in 2008. Hamilton Sundstrand is based in Windsor Locks, Conn.

Dynegy Inc. was poised to announce the sale of its Illinois Power utility to Ameren Corp. of St. Louis for $1.8 billion in assumed debt and $400 million in cash. The deal is part of a drive by the Houston-based power generator to refocus on core businesses. Ameren's acquisition will boost its customer base in Illinois to about 1.6 million.

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