Kodak Exits Photography Business

Posted on 8/27/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Kodak has announced plans to sell off its Personalized Imaging business unit which includes Kodak cameras, print kiosks, and consumer-grade film. In short, Kodak will no longer make any photographic items for the everyday consumer.

The Personalized Imaging business consists of Retail Systems Solutions (RSS), Paper & Output Systems (P&OS) and Event Imaging Solutions (EIS). RSS is the worldwide leader in retail print solutions with a global footprint of 105,000 KODAK Picture Kiosks; P&OS includes the broadest portfolio of traditional photographic paper and still camera film products; and EIS provides souvenir photo products at theme parks and other venues.

Kodak will continue to make film for the movie industry and large-format films for aerial and industrial photography. (Keep in mind that the movie industry is rapidly moving to all digital and the aerial photography business has been decimated by the availability of satellite imagery and Google Earth.)

The company will also be selling its Document Imaging branches which provide a comprehensive portfolio of scanners, capture software and services to enterprise customers. It will continue to run its Consumer Inkjet division as one of its last public-facing businesses.

The good news is that both Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging will be sold as 'going concerns,' which means that warranties will still be valid and tech support available.

The company will continue to own and operate its commercial, packaging and functional printing and enterprise services businesses as well as its Consumer Inkjet Specialty Chemicals businesses.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal has reported that a consortium including Samsung, Apple and Google is bidding for Kodak's digital imaging patents. Kodak was hoping to raise over $2.2 billion by selling its patents, but the consortium is looking to grab them up for as little as $500 million. By joining together and not bidding against each other the members of the consortium will be able to benefit from Kodak's many fundamental inventions in the digital field for a relatively small investment.

Speaking on the recent developments, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez stated that “the initiation of a process to sell the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging 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” (from chapter 11 bankruptcy sometime in 2013).

“We are reshaping Kodak. We continue to rebalance our company toward commercial, packaging and functional printing – in which we have the broadest portfolio solutions – and enterprise services. These businesses have substantial long-term growth prospects worldwide and are core to the future of Kodak. We are confident that our competitive advantages in materials science and deposition technologies, as well as our know-how in digital imaging, will enable us to capitalize on those opportunities and extend our leadership in key growth markets,” Perez continued.

Kodak was founded in 1880 and introduced the iconic Brownie camera in 1900. The camera sold for $1 and used film that cost just 15 cents a roll making hobby photography affordable for many people. Kodachrome, the first commercial successful color film, was introduced in 1935. The company’s workforce peaked in 1988 at nearly 150,000 employees.

Copyright © 2012 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


  • Bill Bachmann Posted Aug 27, 2012
    Sad day indeed. Who among us old-timers can forget the smell of chemicals and that yellow box with all the miracles we could do with it!


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