Encyclopaedia Britannica, the oldest continually published English-language encyclopedia in the world, is strapped for cash to compete in cyberspace.
The 226-year-old Chicago-based company survived the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution but is fighting for its life in the information revolution."We need capital and are confident we can secure it," company President Peter Norton said in a statement Tuesday.
Possibilities for raising money include selling off Britannica or seeking investors or business partners, company officials said.
"Our goal is to preserve Encyclopaedia Britannica as an institution, and to continue to develop new products and explore alternative sales channels."
Encyclopaedia Britannica has not turned a profit since 1990, when it earned $40 million on sales of $650 million. Sales fell to $453 million last year and the company expects further declines this year.
An industry analyst blamed the decline on Encyclopaedia Britannica's longstanding reluctance to publish an electronic version.