Kodak's assets have been reduced once again as the beleaguered imaging company has sold its online photo-sharing services division to Shutterfly.
Shutterfly has agreed to pay $23.8 million for the online Kodak Gallery business, which includes the transfer of Gallery customer accounts and images in the U.S. and Canada to Shutterfly. Kodak customers will have the option to refuse transferring their content to Shutterfly to instead retrieve their images through free downloads or by purchasing DVDs from KODAK Gallery.
The Kodak Gallery has more than 75 million users.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Kodak will seek U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval of sale and auction procedures by late March.
Kodak's chief marketing officer and president of its Consumer Businesses group, Pradeep Jotwani, explained the cuts in a statement:
This sale is consistent with our objective of focusing Kodak on a core set of businesses in which we can most profitably leverage our technology and brand strengths, and provides a well-proven mechanism for ensuring that Kodak receives maximum value from these assets.
Kodak reportedly started looking for a buyer for the Gallery unit last November amid rumors that the Rochester, N.Y.-based company was desperately looking for cash.
Amid further reports about filing for bankruptcy, another possible source of revenue for Kodak could be patents, which are quite the hot commodities in the technology industry these days.
It became clear how dire things had become for Kodak in February when it announced that it will phase out its dedicated capture devices business (which produces digital cameras, camcorders, and photo frames) during the first half of 2012.
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