Bankrupt Kodak to dump photo divisions ahead of massive restructuring

Beleaguered, and bankrupt, iconic photography company Eastman Kodak is planning to sell the photo kiosk, consumer film, and commercial scanner arms of its business as it hones in on attempts to maximise revenue from its digital imaging and processing patents ahead of a massive restructuring, the company has said.

“We have to make some tough choices to build our future and this is one of those choices,” the company’s chief executive Antonio Perez told reporters on a conference call, Bloomberg reported. “Kodak’s goal is not simply to emerge but obviously to emerge as a profitable, sustainable company and today’s actions are moving us decisively along that path.”

The proposed sale would see the company cede its consumer-facing businesses and focus instead on the potentially more lucrative commercial and enterprise printing and packaging market.

"You can't succeed these days without focusing in certain areas and putting all your money in areas that are synergetic with each other," Perez said

The ongoing auction to sell off two blocks of patents was designed to fund that reorganisation, but has thus far not brought in the high figures the company was looking for.

Kodak previously said it believes its patents are worth up to $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion), but after initial bids came in low and no conclusive arrangements with buyers were reached by the auction’s 13 August end date, the company extended the deadline. Kodak needs to rake in some $700 million (£440 million) to resolve its bankruptcy and reemerge on the path to profitability by next year.

Though it is abandoning the photography business, in which it was once dominant, Kodak insists it is committed to protecting its legacy.

“As we move forward with the potential transition of these businesses to new ownership, we will ensure that our customers continue to enjoy the same great products, services and support that they have come to expect from Kodak,” the company said in a statement.

“We will also ensure that the potential buyers share our commitment to serving customers. Kodak has successfully sold businesses in the past with a seamless transition for customers.”