June 8, 2010 / 9:40 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Former Blackwater pursues sale of the company

* Firm up for sale

* Company faced criticism over Iraq involvement

ATLANTA, June 8 (Reuters) - Xe Services, the private U.S. security firm formerly known as Blackwater which has faced criticism over work in Iraq and Afghanistan, is seeking a sale of the company.

“Xe’s new management team has made significant changes and improvements to the company over the last 15 months, which have enabled the company to better serve the U.S. government and other customers, and will deliver additional value to a purchaser,” the company said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Tuesday.

Xe Services, based in Moyock, North Carolina, has faced intense scrutiny over its security work in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of its guards were accused of wrongly killing Iraqi civilians in 2007 while protecting U.S. diplomats there.

The Associated Press reported that company owner and founder Erik Prince said in a statement that selling the company is a difficult decision, but constant criticism of Xe helped him make up his mind.

In April, the firm’s former president and four other former employees were indicted on charges that they falsified documents to hide gifts given to foreign officials and violated other firearms laws and made false statements [ID:nN1612406].

In March, aircraft parts supplier AAR Corp (AIR.N) said it would buy Xe Services unit Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) for $200 million. [ID:nSGE62O0JQ] (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore and Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Bernard Orr)

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