Kodak seeks online photo-sharing business sell-off after outlook panic warning

Summary:Kodak is reportedly looking to sell off its online photo-sharing service in a bid to stay afloat, sources say.

Kodak, currently suffering with funding issues, is making attempts to sell its online photo-sharing service, Kodak Gallery, sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal said today.

People familiar with the matter said that the one-time film giant has approached not only photo-sharing sites but competitors also, along with private equity firms and retailers in a bid to sell off the business group.

Kodak Gallery allows users store digital photos online in the cloud and print them out to calendars, photo albums and greetings cards.

The Rochester, New York-based company is seeking "hundreds of millions of [U.S.] dollars". The site has been haemorrhaging users in the past few years, and the massive recent drop in traffic is deterring some buyers, the sources claim.

The company has been struggling with cash-flow issues in recent months, and warned last month that it could run out of cash in the next twelve months, unless the company can raise funds from selling off debt, raise new funds from lenders, or by selling off a vast array of its photography-related patents.

Kodak is thought to have over 1,100 patents, worth in the region of $2-3 billion. Since 2008, the company has generated nearly $2 billion alone in royalties and licensing fees from key patents it still controls.

But the company continues to struggle as the once-photo giant now moves towards a different business altogether, focusing on forming a new profitable printing equipment company. It borrowed $160 million in September to part fund this venture.

Kodak ended the third-quarter with just under $900 million in cash; a steep drop from the $1.4 billion it had the same quarter the year before.

Speaking to Reuters, a spokesperson said that the company "would not comment on rumour or speculation".

Kodak was not immediately available for comment.

Related:

Topics: Patents, Apple, BlackBerry, Legal

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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