Kodak’s photo business in fire sale

Kodak is in the process of severing its last links to photography, putting its consumer and professional film and paper, APEX dry printing systems and consummables, and Picture Kiosk businesses up for sale.

The business also includes souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues.

There are over 100,000 Kodak Picture Kiosks installed around the world. Kodak was the pioneer of kiosks back in the 1990s with its Create-A-Print (Image Magic) system.

Effectively, this decision sees Kodak walking away from the stills photography business after over 130 years. What has taken over a century to build has been spun off in less than 12 months. Kodak will continue to sell inkjet printers to consumers, and film to the movie industry.

It is also selling its document scanning business.

According to CEO Antonio Perez, Kodak’s core businesses are now commercial printing, packaging printing and various printing services.

Consumer inkjet printing, motion picture and television film, and specialty chemicals, are outside of the core, so future sales of these businesses can’t be discounted.

The latest sale is targetted for completion in the first half of next year according to Eastman Kodak.

The decisions to put these revenue-generating parts of the busness up for sale contradicts a briefing to creditors just a few weeks ago, where the ‘Personalised Imaging’ (Lord save us!) business unit was included in the post-bankruptcy business plan and was predicted to bring in US$1.1 billion in revenue this year.

Speculation is that the faltering auction of Eastman Kodak’s swag of digital imaging patents (scheduled to be complete by August 13 but behind schedule) brought about a change of plans.)

Going, going, gone:

This is the man: Pradeep Jotwani was recruited from HP’s printing businesses by fellow -ex-HP printing business executive Antonio Perez. In just over a year, he proceeded to sell off anything at Kodak not concerned with printing, before suddenly deserting the company without explanation midway through Chapter 11 proceedings.

Nov, 2011: Eastman Kodak sells its high-end, highly sophisticated Image Sensor Solutions (ISS) business to private equity firm Platinum Equity for an undisclosed sum (But probably less than US$200 mil.)
Dec, 2011: Desperately seeking cash, Kodak agrees to sell its gelatin business. (Gelatin is used in photographic and printing processes as well as in food and pharmaceuticals.)
Feb, 2012: Kodak says it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.
March: Kodak announces plans to sell its online photo service business to online photo publishing company Shutterfly Inc. for a ‘bargain basement’ US$23.8 million.
May: Pradeep Jotwani, president of consumer business and chief marketing officer (and  the genius architect of all the above, brought in by Perez from HP) , suddenly deserts the ship.
July: Kodak shuts down Kodak Gallery. North American accounts go to Shutterfly.
August: Kodak announces intention to sell the remainder of its photographic business and its document imaging business.

The company says the sale of the units, along with cost-cutting measures and the auction of its patent portfolio, will help it emerge from bankruptcy sometime in 2013.

 


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