August 25, 2012

Kodak To Sell Off Film, Photo Paper & Other Divisions

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online

Cash-strapped Eastman Kodak is looking to shutter their camera film, photo paper, photo kiosk, and commercial scanner divisions in order to raise additional funds, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

According to writers Mike Spector and Dana Mattioli, Kodak made the announcement in order to help keep the business afloat while waiting for a resolution to an auction for its portfolio of digital patents. Among the businesses the Rochester, New York-based firm is looking to sell off all its print film, digital photo development kiosks, heavy-duty commercial scanners and corporate software divisions, they added.

“The initiation of a process to sell the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses is an important step in our company´s reorganization to focus our business on the commercial markets and enable Kodak to accelerate its momentum toward emergence,” Kodak Chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez said in a statement. "In addition, we continue our initiatives to reduce our cost structure and streamline our operating models in an effort to return the company to profitability."

"We are reshaping Kodak," he added. "We continue to re-balance our company toward commercial, packaging and functional printing -- in which we have the broadest portfolio solutions -- and enterprise services. These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide and are core to the future of Kodak. We are confident that our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalize on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets."

As previously reported here on, the patent auction, which kicked off earlier this month and is for more than 1,000 digital patents worth up to an estimated $2.6 billion, has not drawn the type of interest that Kodak officials had initially hoped for. Apple and Google opened with bids ranging from an estimated $150 million to $250 million, though last week rumors had surfaced that the two rivals could be joining in an alliance to acquire the patents at a reduced price.

BBC News reported Friday that Kodak has initially planned to announce a buyer last week, but later announced that discussions for the patents would continue and that it wasn't even certain that a deal would take place. Successfully selling off their other divisions would leave Kodak to focus on producing and selling printers, cinema film stock, and chemicals, the British news agency added.

"We have to make some tough choices to build our future and this is one of those choices," Perez told Bloomberg Businessweek reporters Beth Jinks and David McLaughlin in a Thursday conference call. "Kodak´s goal is not simply to emerge but obviously to emerge as a profitable, sustainable company and today´s actions are moving us decisively along that path."

"The path to emergence is becoming clearer for us," he added. "Our patent auction continues, and we are still engaged in discussions around the potential sale of our digital imaging portfolio. Going in we expected this to be a complex process and it has been all of that and more."

Kodak originally filed for bankruptcy back in January, due to its inability to overcome rivals in the digital photography industry, Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times said. They sold off their photo-sharing website to Shutterfly in April, and they expect to sell off their other divisions sometime in the first half of next year, she added.