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A Novo Expands Set-Top Repair Business

A Novo Broadband Inc. said its deal to acquire Broadband Services Inc.'s equipment-repair division for about $8 million in cash and undisclosed liabilities buys it access to the two largest domestic digital set-top makers.

Though A Novo already services Scientific-Atlanta Inc. boxes, BSI is a an authorized repair center for Motorola Broadband Communications Sector analog and digital set-tops, said BSI vice president of sales and marketing Bernie Kitzinger, who will take on a similar role at A Novo once the deal is closed.

"This deal will put those two [box vendors] together," he said.

A Novo Broadband, a division of Paris-based A Novo Group, also services and repairs broadband equipment for original-equipment manufacturers and service operators, such as AT&T Broadband, Adelphia Communications Corp., Comcast Corp., Pace Micro Technology plc and Time Warner Cable.

The deal was expected to close last week. A Novo said it would fund the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and bridge loans, pending the closing of additional equity financing. BSI will retain its MSO supply-chain management and fulfillment business.

A Novo said it expects the deal to add $10 million in annual digital repair revenue. A Novo will also assume control of BSI's service centers based in New Castle, Del.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; and Pompano Beach, Fla.

Those would compliment A Novo's Montreal facility, which began to service and repair digital cable boxes in June.

By combining those operations, A Novo is expected to trim annual costs by about $1 million, said CEO Louis Brunel in a statement.