MarchFirst confirms layoffs, sale of assets

After staying mum on its future for the past week, Internet consulting firm MarchFirst Inc. said Monday that it will lay off 30 percent of its workforce, or 1,700 employees, sell many of its assets to Internet holding company Divine Inc., and close its Australian operations in an effort to pay off a US$53 million loan.

In a statement Monday, Chicago-based MarchFirst said it was selling its Central Region business unit and other offices to Divine InterVentures.

Trading in shares of MarchFirst resumed at 1:30 p.m. Monday after the company's announcement. Last Wednesday, trading was halted by the Nasdaq stock exchange after reports that the company would lay off 3,000 of its 7,200-person staff and was considering splitting into three regional units, each funded by different outside investors.

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