Soon, Kodak will cease to be a film company. After spending almost a decade swirling the pot and the past eight months going directly down the drain, Kodak has decided to sell its traditional film businesses (and some other camera businesses) to become a fully commercial-focused businesses, with printers at center stage.
Technically, the other businesses Kodak wants to sell are called “personalized imaging” and “document imaging,” which includes those kiosks you find in stores to develop digital photos and a business that takes pictures of people riding roller coasters and such in theme parks.
The WSJ reports that this comes on the heels of a disappointing run to sell the company’s trove of 1,100 patents, which Kodak originally believed would be worth $2.2 billion – $2.6 billion. Unfortunately for the 100-year-old-plus company, the auction didn’t necessarily foster competition between the prospective buyers, with Apple, Google, and others wishing to form a consortium that would jointly purchase the patents.
In short, that would mean that those companies couldn’t use Kodak’s patents against one another in court, yet could pull freely from the technologies for their own products. It’s a win for everyone but Kodak, as the joint purchase has brought the price down. According to WSJ sources, bids have come in around $250 million.
In January, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection as it struggled to generate a positive cash flow during the digital camera boom. Considering Kodak actually invented the first digital camera, the company was incredibly late to that game, and it may have cost them the business.