Kodak to sell off imaging business units

Kodak to sell off imaging business units

Summary: As it struggles for survival, the printing and photography vendor wants to focus on the more profitable business units of the company.

TOPICS: Printers

Beleaguered printing and photography vendor Kodak is offloading its personalised and document imaging businesses, to focus more on commercial and enterprise services.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January and has been in the process of auctioning off its veritable vault of patents since then, in a bid to save itself from closure. It has lost US$600 million since the beginning of the year.

Selling off the two business units is part of Kodak's cost-cutting initiative, as it attempts to claw its way out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and return to profitability some time in 2013. The company's personalised imaging business includes Retail Systems Solutions (RSS), Paper & Output Systems (P&OS) and Event Imaging Systems (EIS).

Document imaging provides a swathe of scanners, capture software and services to enterprise customers.

Kodak retains ownership of Consumer Inkjet, Entertainment Imaging, Commercial Film and Specialty Chemicals businesses.

"We continue to re-balance our company towards commercial packaging and functional printing — in which we have the broadest portfolio solutions — and enterprise services," Kodak CEO Antonio M Perez said in a statement. "These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide, and are core to the future of Kodak.

"We are confident our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalise on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets."

Kodak expects to sell off the personalised and digital imaging businesses by the first half of 2013.

Topic: Printers

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Good

    I think that retaining ownership of the consumer inkjet business is a good decision. They probably wish they had gotten into that business sooner, and spent less time chasing digital photography.

    Selling a kind of box that requires an endless stream of supplies -- and then selling the supplies -- plays much more to their strengths than digital photography did. Plus they have a lot of chemical engineering wizards, which helps with the inks. Who knows, they might get out of this alive.
    Robert Hahn
  • I sure hope this move...

    .. proves to be successfully. Would be wonderful to see Kodak back in the market.
  • Kodak to sell off imaging business units

    an imaging company with no imaging product... what an irony? short term they might survive, but hp own the space.
  • What a colossal fail

    They were the #1 producer of digital cameras in 2005 so has plenty of opportunities and resources to keep up its R&D, beef up its product line and be competitive for the long run, but apparently its CEO Antonio Perez thought running the company into the ground was somehow a better strategy. I don't know about that....

    I personally loved my Kodak Zi8 pocket camcorder: when mated with the very compact Sony ECM-DSP70P mic, it blew away all other compact video/camera systems and smartphones for recording good looking, good sounding videos. Even today, 3 years after its introduction, its audio quality still blows away pretty much every camera not equipped with a more expensive external mic. I was really looking forward to the successor to the Zi8, but waited, and waited, and waited....but nothing. They did as Cisco did with the Flip cameras: essentially froze the tech for years until it became dated, and then blame everyone else but themselves for not doing well. Kodak announced the Zi12 back in January of this year, and it was being positioned as being the Zi8's real successor, but a few weeks later Kodak decided the exit the camera business altogether, taking the still-born Zi12 with it. Curiously the price of remaining Zi8s for sale shot up: originally selling for $179 3 years ago, they have been regularly selling for around twice that amount (a quick lookup just now on Amazon shows a new one selling for $419.88.)

    Recently I picked up the just released Zoom Q2HD pocket camcorder -- blocky-ish $200 device that might seem a little primitive at first compared to an iPhone or even a Sony Bloggie, but....it absolutely destroys them in camcorder functionality. If you want a compact camcorder with good audio, there is no point in looking further. It's the real successor to the Kodak Zi8 and the Flips. And it was created from a small Japanese company that has been slowly but successfully branching out from things like effects pedals for guitars and onto low cost, well-performing digital recorders and now all-purpose recording devices. And it appears that what they mostly did was intelligently package current audio and video components in a way that basically any company could have done -- but didn't. Like Cisco. Like Kodak.