Kodak in $525 million patent deal, eyes bankruptcy end

Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:03pm EST
 
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By Tom Hals

(Reuters) - Eastman Kodak Co agreed to sell its digital imaging patents for about $525 million, a key step to bringing the photography pioneer out of bankruptcy in the first half of 2013.

The deal for the 1,100 patents allows Kodak to fulfill a condition for securing $830 million in financing.

The patent deal was reached with a consortium led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp, and which includes some of the world's biggest technology companies, which will license or acquire the patents.

Those companies are Adobe Systems Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Fujifilm, Google Inc, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, HTC Corp, Microsoft Corp, Research In Motion Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Shutterfly Inc, according to court documents.

Kodak still must sell its personalized and document-imaging businesses as part of the financing package, and also has to resolve its UK pension obligation.

Kodak said the patent deal puts it on a path to emerge from Chapter 11 in the first half of 2013.

"Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company," said Antonio Perez, chairman and chief executive of the Rochester, New York-based company.

The patent portfolio was expected to be a major asset for Kodak when it filed for bankruptcy in January. An outside firm had estimated the patents could be worth as much as $2.6 billion.   Continued...

 
Kodak World Headquarters is pictured in Rochester, New York January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Fenster