On Thursday Kodak announced they would be selling the business unit that makes film and manages their printing business and kiosks. The company said they were holding onto what’s left of the commercial movie film business, but other sources contradicted those statements, suggesting that too is on the chopping block.
The problem now becomes who would want to buy Kodak’s film business? Five or ten years ago the unit would have some value to potential buyers, now analysts debate whether any suitors will step forward. Fujifilm might be interested, but analysts openly question why they would want to garner a bigger share of a declining market.
Perhaps ironically, Kodak announced it was shuttering its digital camera business by September 30 of this year.
In a 15 minute conference call with reporters the company declined to say how their sales of imaging technology patents was progressing. The sale, which was supposed to conclude August 13, is still ongoing, leading some to speculate that potential buyers might wait to see if Kodak will be able to make it out of bankruptcy protection first.
Kodak declined to say how much they are expecting to bring from the sale of the film business but did indicate they were planning on keeping their line of consumer inkjet printers.
There isn’t anyone who started in photography in the 70s and 80s who doesn’t remember the big yellow and red signs outside some hole in the wall film shop located in almost every tourist spot anywhere in the world. The Kodak sign meant fresh film, Kodak quality processing, fresh batteries and flash bulbs.
I still remember people on video and photography boards vehemently insisting that film would be around for our lifetimes. Apparently those people weren’t planning on living very long.