Autobytel cuts 75 employees, considers sale

Autobytel Inc. has cut 35 percent of its work force and retained investment banking firm RBC Capital Markets Corp. to explore “strategic alternatives,” including the sale of the company.

In a statement released Friday, Sept. 26, the Irvine, Calif.-based company said it has eliminated an additional 75 positions as part of a companywide cost-cutting initiative that started in 2007.

“As we navigate through this challenging economy, we are taking all the necessary steps to reduce costs,” CEO Jim Riesenbach said in a statement. “We believe our actions are necessary to bring the company more closely in line with our goals of achieving cash flow breakeven and profitability.”

Autobytel is an Internet automotive marketing services company that helps dealers and manufacturers sell cars and related products and services.

Autobytel anticipates saving about $10 million as a result of the work force reduction and the elimination of certain other expenses.

Autobytel posted losses of $59.2 million through June 30 of this year on declining revenues of $39.6 million during the same period.

Stock values are at a multiyear low and were trading today at $1.07 a share.

“We believe our current stock price as well as overall market conditions are conductive to, and have driven, increased interest in Autobytel from various third parties,” Riesenbach said. “We stand ready to take whatever action is necessary to maximize shareholder value.”

Patricia Scott contributed to this report

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