Eastman Kodak Co. late Thursday afternoon said it plans to sell its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses. The company aims to complete the transactions in the first half of 2013.
Kodak earlier this month projected the businesses now targeted for sale would generate roughly $1.5 billion in revenues, or more than one-third of its projected revenues for 2012. They made up 28 percent of total revenues in 2011.
“The initiation of a process to sell (these) businesses is an important step in our company’s reorganization to focus our business on the commercial markets and enable Kodak to accelerate its momentum toward emergence,” Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez said.
The sale of the two businesses–as well as continued cost-reduction initiatives, curtailment of its legacy liabilities and the monetization of its digital imaging patent portfolio–will be significant milestones toward completing the company’s reorganization and emergence from Chapter 11 during 2013, he added.
Perez, who held a roughly 20-minute conference call on Kodak’s plans, declined to discuss the ongoing auction of its digital imaging patents. He cited the confidentiality limits placed on Kodak by the Bankruptcy Court.
The Personalized Imaging business consists of Retail Systems Solutions, Paper & Output Systems and Event Imaging Solutions. Kodak this month reported the segment generated $1.3 billion in revenues in 2011 and projected its sales would dip to $1.1 billion this year.
The company said RSS is the worldwide industry leader with a global footprint of 105,000 picture kiosks, while P&OS includes an array of traditional photographic paper and still-camera film products. EIS provides souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues.
The Document Imaging business provides scanners, capture software and services to enterprise customers. The business makes up the bulk of Kodak’s Enterprise Services & Solutions Strategic Product Group, which generated $466 million in revenues last year and is projected to slip to $446 million in 2012.
The number of workers in the businesses locally and worldwide has not been determined because it is early in the process and clear outlines have not been drawn as to which employees would be included with the businesses, a Kodak spokesman said.
Perez said the company is not shutting down the businesses but would transfer ownership. The jobs would still exist.
He said both businesses are successful and valuable operations, but Kodak needs to make choices.
“It was not an easy decision,” he said.
The planned sale of the Personalized Imaging business also reflects Kodak’s continuing shift from business-to-consumer to business-to-business. When Kodak began its shift to digital in 2004, the company was 90 percent consumer-oriented, he said. Currently, roughly 66 percent of its business is commercial.
Kodak already has begun the process of shopping these businesses to potential buyers.
The company also said it is continuing its discussions on the potential sale of its digital imaging patent portfolios, but reiterated that it might decide to retain the portfolios. Kodak had projected selling the patents for more than $2 billion. Published reports indicate the initial bids were much lower.
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