updated 03:40 pm EST, Thu November 17, 2011
Kodak may sell Kodak Gallery to slim down
Kodak is hoping to sell its Kodak Gallery online photo service to stay afloat, according to leaks. The camera pioneer was said by the Wall Street Journal to be talking to other photo hosting services, retail stores, private equity groups, and even rival camera makers to interest them in a sale. Advisors from FTI Consulting, which led to the sale of the image sensor group, was supposedly involved in this sale as well as part of an attempt to find buyers for as many non-essential divisions as possible
The asking price has reached "hundreds of millions of dollars," the tips said, although Kodak's relative lack of attention to Kodak Gallery may have cost a chance at a high price. Declining user numbers have spooked buyers concerned they would buy a failing unit that they might not turn around.
Kodak wouldn't comment on the claims.
The company has been on an accelerating decline in the past year that has seen it drop many of its ambitions. At the start of 2011, it was still hoping to use patent lawsuits and royalty deals as a substitute for regular competition, including prominent cases against Apple and RIM. Partial losses and delays led to Kodak considering patent sell-offs, even for those patents it was using for lawsuits. The company bought time with its image sensor division sale, but it's still warning that it might have to close if it doesn't get funding quickly.
At present, Kodak is focused primarily on reorganizing around printers, its main successful business. Although considered a key architect for the camera, it has struggled in digital cameras as Canon, Nikon, and others moved faster on technology.