Computer services and equipment leasing company Comdisco will sell its technology services unit, including its US assets and the stock of its UK, France and Canada subsidiaries, to Hewlett Packard for $610m.
The company also sought bankruptcy protection.
The sale to HP excludes the company's operations in Germany and Spain as well as other assets that include Network Services and IT CAP Solutions.
Comdisco said it would also reduce its North American workforce by 200, or 10 per cent, more than half of which will be at the corporate level.
Simultaneous with the HP transaction, Comdisco said the parent company and 50 domestic US subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Court.
The previously announced discontinued operations of ISP Prism Communication Services are included in the filing and represent about 35 of the 51 debtor cases.
The bankruptcy filing will allow the company to provide for an orderly sale of the assets which it said will be subject to higher or otherwise better bids in a bankruptcy court auction process.
It will also provide short-term liquidity issues and enable the company to reorganise on a sound financial basis.
In addition, Comdisco said it has received commitments for a $600m secured financing led by Citibank and will appropriate $100m exclusively to support international operations.
Norm Blake, chairman and chief executive, said: "Today's court filings are challenging. They will, in the long term, serve the interest of our stakeholders."
Blake said the company expects to end its financial restructuring process and exit Chapter 11 by the end of the first quarter of 2002.
Founded 36 years ago, Comdisco's shares have fallen more than 95 per cent in the past year. The company listed $7.52bn in assets and $6.74bn in debts in a quarterly report filed 15 May with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Trading in Comdisco shares were halted Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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