Kodak to Acquire Leading Online Photo Service Ofoto
Tuesday, May 01, 2001
ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 30 -- Eastman Kodak Company announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Emeryville, Calif.- based, Ofoto, Inc. (www.ofoto.com), a leading online photography service. Ofoto will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak and will be led by its existing management team, which will report to Willy Shih, president of Kodak's Digital and Applied Imaging unit. Ofoto will serve as a critical connection between Kodak's film scanning and uploading services and Kodak's output capabilities through labs operated by its Qualex Inc. subsidiary. These capabilities will give customers and consumers unlimited flexibility in storing, sharing, enhancing and printing pictures. Founded in 1999, Ofoto has 1.2 million registered members. The company offers digital processing of digital images and traditional film, top-quality prints, private online image storage, sharing, editing and creative tools, frames, cards and other merchandise. Ofoto employs 121 people, all based in Emeryville. In a recent report on online photo sharing and photofinishing, ARS, Inc., a business-to-business market intelligence company, ranked Ofoto as the leading online service. Ofoto led in three of the four categories: Ease of Use, Service and Price Competitiveness. "The acquisition enhances our leadership in the growing market for online photo services. By combining Kodak's and Ofoto's technology, marketing and distribution assets, we will be able to deliver the most comprehensive, easy-to-use online photography services to customers and consumers," said Shih. "This will accelerate Kodak's growth and drive more rapid adoption of online photography." This move will result in greater speed to market for new features and reinforce Kodak's position as the market leader. Financial terms were not disclosed.