Xe Services, the U.S. security firm formerly known as Blackwater which has faced criticism for its work in Iraq and Afghanistan, is pursuing a sale of the company, the Associated Press said.

Xe Services announced its decision in a brief statement that gave few details, the agency said.

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, according to the agency.

North Carolina-based Xe Services could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

Xe Services has faced intense scrutiny for 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.

In March, aircraft parts supplier AAR Corp said it would buy a Xe Services' unit Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) for $200 million.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast)