Business & Finance

Medco Health Solutions Inc. said it will buy its No. 1 supplier of specialty pharmaceuticals, Accredo Health Inc., for $2.2 billion in cash and stock. Medco, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., helps employers and healthcare organizations manage the costs of prescription-drug benefits. Accredo is based in Memphis, Tenn., and provides drugs for patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses.

In a pair of deals worth $1.6 billion, Boeing agreed to sell jet-assembly plants in Kansas and Oklahoma and its rocket-engine subsidiary. The sales provide a cash infusion for Boeing, allowing it to concentrate on design and final assembly while leaving the development of components to others. Onex Corp. is buying the assembly plants for $900 million, plus debt. The Toronto company plans to form a subsidiary to operate the 7,200-worker plant in Wichita, Kan., and smaller facilities in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla. Onex will make the fuselages and wing elements for Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet. Meanwhile, United Technologies Corp. will pay $700 million for Boeing's Rocketdyne division of Canoga Park, Calif., which is best known for building engines for the Saturn 5 missions to the moon.

In a new wave of layoffs:

• Without saying how many jobs would be affected, Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) announced it will close 17 call centers in the US and four in Europe, shifting some of their operations to India. The move, announced Tuesday, will be completed by the end of next year. EDS already has three call centers in India, where salaries are low by Western standards. EDS, based in Dallas, manages other companies' computer systems.

• Acuity Brands Inc. said it will eliminate 1,100 jobs as part of a campaign to save $50 million in operating costs by year's end. The Atlanta company makes specialty chemicals; overhead lighting systems for highways, parking lots, and the like; and light fixtures for the home

• Another 630 employees will be let go by Internet, cable-TV and phone-service provider TDC, the company said. TDC, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, already has cut 1,545 jobs over the past two years.

• Land's End Inc., a major manufacturer of clothing and home accessories and a subsidiary of retailer Sears Roebuck & Co., said it will cut 375 jobs - more than half of them at a call center in Cross Plains, Wis., that is closing in June.

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