DETROIT -- MSX International Inc. is trying to sell two European units to help cut its debt.
The technical services company has left several unprofitable markets. Now it plans to sell an Italian technical and commercial publishing business and a European engineering and staffing business, according to company reports.
Spokesman David Crittenden says the sales are possible within a year. He wouldn't speculate on the price or identify the divisions.
The two companies targeted for sale reported combined sales of $33.2 million and a net loss of $12.4 million for the first quarter ended April 3, the company said last month.
Standard & Poor's analyst Nancy Messer says the sales should provide modest help in reducing MSX's debt.
MSX's automotive revenues have been eroded by automakers' cost cutting.
Ford Motor Co., which accounted for 36 percent of MSX's 2004 revenue, has reduced its contract staffing of technical workers.
S&P this month lowered MSX's corporate credit deeper into junk territory: to B-, from B. The company had total balance sheet debt of $255 million as of April 2005.
The company posted a $1.58 million profit for the year ended Jan. 2, 2005. Sales were $556.61 billion, down from $929.26 billion in 2001.
MSX is headed by Robert Netolicka. He became CEO in January 2004 when former Chrysler purchasing chief Tom Stallkamp stepped down.
Stallkamp remains on MSX's board.
The company has 6,000 employees in 25 countries.
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