November 12, 2007 / 11:27 PM / 12 years ago

Kodak to sell China Lucky stake, ending partnership

A lone Kodak worker leaves corporate headquarters in Rochester, New York January 22, 2004. Eastman Kodak Co <EK.N> has decided to sell off its stake in Lucky Film Co Ltd <600135.SS>, ending a four-year partnership with China's biggest photo film manufacturer, the Chinese company said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Gary Wiepert

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co EK.N has decided to sell off its stake in Lucky Film Co Ltd (600135.SS), ending a four-year partnership with China’s biggest photo film manufacturer, the Chinese company said on Tuesday.

Under an agreement signed between Kodak and Lucky last week, Kodak will sell its 20 percent stake in the Shanghai-listed firm to a Chinese venture capital company based in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou for $37 million, the statement said.

The 20 percent stake would include a seven percent interest that Kodak is buying from Lucky Film’s state parent under an agreement signed several years ago, it added.

Kodak is undergoing a lengthy and expensive transformation into a maker of digital cameras and printing services. Since late 2003, the Rochester, New York-based company has focused on the expanding market for digital devices, hoping to outpace the drop in demand for film.

Lucky Film had also seen a sharp drop in its earnings in recent years. Its profits recovered a little last year, which it mainly attributed to growth of its digital photographic business.

Kodak’s pullout from Lucky Film would also allow Lucky to kick off a long-awaited stock reform that will allow holders of non-listed shares in the company to float their shares on the stock exchange, state media said.

Reporting by Charlie Zhu; Editing by Valerie Lee

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