Jan. 4, 2012 at 3:00 PM ET
By msnbc.com news services
Eastman Kodak is working on a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing that could be filed as soon as this month or early February if it cannot sell its digital patents, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.
A spokesman for Kodak did not immediately respond for a comment.
The newspaper said Kodak is in talks with lenders to secure about $1 billion in debtor-in possession financing to sustain it through any bankruptcy proceedings.
The Journal said Kodak is still trying to sell the more than 1,100 patents it put up for sale in July, which could stave off filing for bankruptcy.
If Kodak seeks Chapter 11 protection, it would try to sell its patents through a bankruptcy auction supervised by a court, sources told the newspaper. The Journal added that the company would operate normally while under bankruptcy protection.
The 131-year-old company grew into a global colossus on the strength of its film business, popularizing the technology beginning in 1900 with its Brownie camera, which sold for a dollar (film was 15 cents).
But the former icon of American industry has been burning cash as it has struggled to transform itself from a company dependent on film sales to one built around commercial and consumer printers, the Journal said.
On Tuesday, Kodak said it may be kicked off the New York Stock Exchange if it cannot boost its share price over the next six months.
Reuters contributed to this report.