Kodak to Sell Off Film and Photo Paper Business (Update)
Eastman Kodak plans to sell off its film and photographic paper businesses in an effort to emerge from bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports. In an announcement on Thursday, Kodak chief executive officer Antonio Perez said the company is seeking buyers for its film and photo paper business and its digital image processing kiosks and scanners. The company plans to focus on inkjet printing, Perez said Thursday. Among the businesses Kodak will keep, according to a statement on Kodak’s web site, are “Consumer inkjet, Entertaining Imaging, Commercial Film and Specialty Chemical businesses.” Kodak’s “commercial film” business refers to aerial photography, surveillance and other industrial and government uses.
Perez said the company wants to complete the sale by the first half of 2013, when the company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy. Kodak, once the leading manufacturer of film, sought bankruptcy protection in January 2012.
Perez declined to say how much Kodak hoped to net from the sales of its film, paper and other businesses. Also unclear: Who will buy these businesses.
When Kodak filed for bankruptcy, the company said it planned to raise money by selling off roughly 1,000 digital imaging patents. However Businessweek reports that those negotiations have dragged on. The sale of its core business is a new effort to pay off debts and pull Kodak out of bankruptcy.
Professional photographer may find it bittersweet that Kodak’s U.S. professional film revenues rose 20 percent in 2011. However, as demand for consumer and motion picture film continued to decline worldwide, the company faced challenges taking advantage of economies of scale. Earlier this year, Scott DiSabato, who was Kodak’s U.S. marketing manager for professional film, told PDN that Kodak’s factories and distribution facilities “were built decades ago for a much bigger traditional photographic market.” DiSabato added at the time that though positive signs in the U.S. pro film market were promising, “It’s going to be hard to ever justify the investment necessary to right-size this when [the overall film market] is declining.” DiSabato has since left Kodak.
For more, see our full news article on PDNOnline.