Carestream Health has put itself up for sale and could fetch as much as $3.5 billion, according to the news agency Reuters.

The ‘for sale’ sign going up on the company has been a big topic of debate at the annual European Congress of Radiology, which is taking place in Vienna.

The company, which has a strong presence in Europe for its picture archiving and communications and related systems, was aquired by a private equity firm in 2007.

It is this firm, Onex Corp, that has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Group to run the sale process, according to Reuters.

It is not unusual for private equity firms to turn over their investments after a short period of years.

Sources at Carestream told EHI Imaging Informatics that the company was doing well, particularly in the UK, where it has been picking up business as the current PACS/RIS market refresh gathers pace.

Carestream is expecting to win more business as more trusts reprocure their systems, particularly among trusts that have decided to take ‘tactical’ approaches as their National PACS Programme contracts run out, but will need to make more ‘strategic’ decisions in coming years.

Financial news services say the disposal of Carestream is in its early stages, but that other private equity firms are already showing interest.  However, none of the firms cited as being involved have commented publicly.