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(April 2, 2001) -- MarchFirst shares closed at 9 cents in resumed Nasdaq trading today after the company announced it would sell some business units to Divine and lay off nearly one-third of its 7,000 staff. Divine had held a press conference Friday to discuss the transaction.

As Divine takes on the the Chicago-based company's Central Region business unit and some other properties spread over approximately 20 of MarchFirst's offices, MarchFirst will close its Australian operations as it continues to court potential suitors for the remaining assets. Meanwhile, the company's loan with American National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago was extended through June 15.

Trading, which had been halted since Wednesday, resumed at 1:30 p.m. today and quickly slid to an all-time low of 6 cents in heavy trading. -- Kate MacArthur

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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