Consortium Nears $500m Deal For Kodak Patents

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Kodak nears deal that could save it from bankruptcy

A consortium of bidders has reportedly offered Eastman Kodak $500 million (£311.6m) for some of its patents as the beleaguered company looks to escape bankruptcy court.

Membership of the consortium remains a mystery, although it is believed to comprise various technology companies and firms that specialise in buying patents. Apple and Google have been previously rumoured to be interested in acquiring the patents.

The Wall Street Journal has been told by people ‘familiar with the matter’ that a deal for the patents had not been reached, but the former photography giant was close to securing financing that could help it survive.

Deal for Kodak patents close

Kodak has agreed a deal with its creditors for $830 million in loans as long as it can sell its patent portfolio for at least $500 million. Its portfolio of 1,100 patents has been up for sale for nearly 18 months, although previous bids have been below the company’s expectations. At one point, Kodak thought its intellectual property could be worth as much as $2.6 billion.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January and is looking to rebuild by selling printing equipment and services. Its new business will apparently revolve around its Propser Press printers, which cost several million dollars each and print high-speed copy for companies like book publishers and direct mail companies.

Kodak claims its remaining business should bring in $2.7 billion of revenue in 2013, a far cry from 2000, when it generated $14 billion.

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