In a rather opaquely worded press release issued today, Kodak has announced that its photo paper and still film businesses are going up on the sales block.
For us, the lede is partly buried:
From paragraph 1: "the company has initiated sale processes for its market-leading Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses." Operative term: Personalized Imaging business. So what's that, exactly?
From paragraph 6: "The Personalized Imaging business consists of Retail Systems Solutions (RSS), Paper & Output Systems (P&OS) and Event Imaging Solutions (EIS). RSS is the worldwide leader in retail print solutions with a global footprint of 105,000 KODAK Picture Kiosks; P&OS includes the broadest portfolio of traditional photographic paper and still camera film products; and EIS provides souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues."
Operative clause: "P&OS includes the broadest portfolio of traditional photographic paper and still camera film products."
In plain English, translated from PR-ese: Kodak is finally announcing its intention to sell off its former core business, the divisions that make photo paper and film.
When? "Kodak said it would move forward as quickly as possible and has targeted completing these transactions in the first half of 2013."
Here's the press release*.
(Thanks to Oren Grad)
*And note the formidable gray block of legal boilerplate with all the cautions about "forward looking statements" at the end...sigh....
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Hernan Zenteno: "What means that. Sorry, I am a not english talking person. But as you know Kodak was on all the world. This mean that there will be no more Trix? sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. Please, confirm that I only understand it bad."
Featured Comment by Noons: "About time this company decides to sell [i.e., divest —Ed.] film! Maybe now it'll be in the hands of someone truly interested in supporting those who choose to use film. Instead of the joke Kodak has been for the last 20 years!"
Featured Comment by Harvey Bernstein: "Really, does anyone care except us middle-aged and old geezers who remember film and working in darkrooms? Maybe a few business history nerds."
Featured Comment by Mark Lacey: "Look, I really don't care who makes Tri-X, as long as someone does. No-one could make a greater mess of film and paper than Kodak have, but will anyone really want to buy more than the name? I've already started stocking up on Tri-X in everything from 35mm to 8x10; is that not that what fridges are for?"
Featured Comment by Zlatko Batistich: "Wow, that was an opaquely worded press release. So film—the former heart of the business—comes under Paper & Output Systems? It sounds as if everything was called a System or a Solution, or both, as in Retail Systems Solutions. Did everyone know that film was an 'output system,' or did they have to think, 'Um, where did we put our film business? Let's see...oh yeah, it's under P&OS.' I get this vague feeling that Kodak's downfall was due in some tiny part to opaque naming of important divisions. ;-)
"It seems that top execs at Kodak are producing a lot of 'value' and exceeding their 'performance benchmarks' this year, so they're asking the bankruptcy court for almost $9 million in executive bonuses...."
Featured Comment by Jim: "Is it too late for them to sell off the executive team? I'm inclined to believe that doing so would have a more positive impact on the bottom line."
Featured Comment by Bernard Scharp: "And at the same time on the other side of the world, Efke Fotokemika in Croatia is having serious problems with their machines (aircon in their building broke down in the summer heat, and many of their machines are in need of intensive servicing), and there's serious doubt whether they'll make the necessary investments, or just close up shop. It's a bad week for film."
Featured Comment by Geoff Wittig: "I am friendly with two Kodak engineers who both note that the disconnect between management and research/production has grown from wide to unfathomable under Perez. They also concur that corporate strategy made repeated 180° turns, and that numerous promising products were abandoned late in development in the increasingly desperate quest for a silver bullet. Kodak's recent attempt to auction off their enormous patent collection has been an abject failure, yielding bids a tiny fraction of expectations. The corporate vultures know they only have to wait a bit longer, and those patents will be available for peanuts."