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Right on the heels of the return of Ektachrome in 120 and sheet formats comes word that Kodak Alaris might be looking for a suitor to buy its Paper, Photochemical, and Film division.
And they want to do it pretty quickly according to PetaPixel with a target date of March 2019.
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The Kodak web of companies is complex.
In 2012 the company went bankrupt and, in order to pay down its debts, the imaging divisions were sold to the UK Kodak Pension Plan. Kodak Alaris might sell the Ektachrome film, but the actual manufacture is done by the Eastman Kodak Company. Together, the two share the rights to use the Kodak name in the marketplace.
Inside Imaging broke the story and spoke with Kodak Alaris CEO Marc Jourlait who said: “[K]ey customers around the world have been privately briefed on the plans to ‘explore sales of some or all of [Kodak Alaris’] assets’ and that ‘PPF in particular [Kodak Alaris] disclosed as at an advanced stage of negotiations with a potential buyers’.”
Jourlait specifically says that negotiations with one buyer, in particular, are in the advanced stages.
According to Inside Imaging, the four business units for Kodak Alaris are, “Kodak Moments (formerly Consumer Imaging); PPF (Paper, Photochemicals and Film); Alaris (document scanners); and AI Foundry (business software). PPF represents just under one quarter of sales, with the Kodak Moments business closer to one third or sales.”
If Kodak Alaris doesn’t find a buyer it will likely see protections under the UK Pension Protection Fund in order to help it continue to meets it debt commitments.
Just another chapter in one of photography’s most storied companies. Kodak has had its issues and the companies that carry on its spirit today are certainly not the original but the return of film and the catering to niche interests has buoyed the company in the press over the past year. Hopefully that nets them a buyer before March 31, 2019.