Canada's MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd. has put its surveillance and space businesses up for sale, but potential buyers are balking at the roughly $1 billion asking price, The Wall Street Journal Online reported on Thursday.

Four U.S. defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Alliant Techsystems Inc., expressed interest but opted against a bid, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the details.

None of the companies mentioned in the article was immediately available to comment.