New York - US photography giant Eastman Kodak said on
Wednesday it had agreed to sell its digital imaging patents for $525m to help
it emerge from bankruptcy protection.
Kodak said 12 intellectual property licensees, led by
Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, will buy the patents.
“This monetisation of patents is another major milestone
toward successful emergence” from bankruptcy, said Antonio Perez, Kodak's
chairperson and chief executive.
“Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as
we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company. This proposed
transaction enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of our initial
(bankruptcy financing) loan, satisfy a key condition for our new financing
facility, and position our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and
The US photography pioneer, which filed for bankruptcy in
January, said it plans to reduce its workforce by some 1 200, wind down sales
on consumer inkjet printers, and sell its consumer film business.
Kodak intends to focus on its digital printing and
enterprise unit, and on another segment including graphics, entertainment and
The company, started in 1892, led the way in popularising
cameras, film, slide projectors and home videos, which preserved the memories
of generations of Americans and others around the world.
At its height in the 1980s, the company had 145 000 workers.
But it has struggled in the age of digital cameras, and years of poor
performance had already forced it to lay off thousands and close 13
manufacturing plants and some 130 processing labs since 2003.