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Santa Ana Company to Handle Data Processing for Avco


SANTA ANA — Software Maintenance Specialists said Thursday it has signed a $50-million, 10-year agreement to take over data-processing services for Avco Financial Services Inc.

As part of the deal, privately held SMS will hire 34 Avco employees who now enter and analyze computerized information. It will also assume the lease on Avco's data center in Irvine.

SMS, based in Santa Ana, also processes data for Allergan Inc., Rockwell International Corp. and other large companies.

About 60 Rockwell employees were laid off when SMS took over that company's operations, but no layoffs are expected at Avco, company executives said on Thursday.

Nor will the new employees' rate of pay decline, said Mike Winder, president of SMS. Rather, he said, they will take on new responsibilities processing data for other SMS clients as well as continuing to do work from Avco.

SMS said it will take over the lease on Avco's 25,000-square-foot data center at 17770 Cartwright Road in Irvine.

Avco, with about 1,000 employees in Orange County and 6,000 worldwide, is a subsidiary of Textron Inc., based in Providence, R.I.

SMS employs 126 people at facilities in Santa Ana, La Mirada and Los Angeles.

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