Reports: MarchFirst axing 3,500 jobs, selling assets

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Chicago--In a bid to remain financially viable, Internet consultancy MarchFirst Inc. is firing 3,500 workers, or half its work force, according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, Francisco Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that last December invested $150 million in MarchFirst and owns 32% of the consultancy, is trying to salvage its investment by selling key MarchFirst assets, according to the Chicago Tribune. These assets include MarchFirst's European operations, according to the Tribune. The newspaper also reported that Francisco Partners has decided not to invest any more money in MarchFirst. The developments come as MarchFirst announced that American National Bank has given the consultancy a one-month reprieve on a $53 million debt originally due March 15. MarchFirst shares, meanwhile, are trading below $1 as Wall Street grows increasingly pessimistic that the consultancy will survive. Kelly Miller, MarchFirst's media relations manager, declined to comment.
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