Kodak is selling patents to Apple, Google, and others, in a deal worth hundreds of millions that will also resolve patent-related litigation.
Struggling photographic firm Eastman Kodak Company (PINK:EKDKQ) has announced the sale of its digital imaging patents for $525 million to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)-backed Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp (NASDAQ:RPXC)– a consortium backed by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), LG, and HTC Corp (TPE:2498), and others.
In a statement released by the company, Eastman Kodak Company (PINK:EKDKQ) said it has found a buyer for its bundle of digital imaging patents. The company will receive part of the capital from 12 intellectual property licensees organised by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp (NASDAQ:RPXC). Each licensee will be granted rights to the digital imaging patent portfolio and other Kodak patents.
The remaining money will be paid by Intellectual Ventures which will acquire the digital imaging patent portfolio, subject to these new licenses, as well as previously existing ones.
Sources familiar with the negotiations said that Intellectual Ventures and RPX represent a large number of various big tech and imaging companies, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Research In Motion Limited (TSE:RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), HTC Corp (TPE:2498), Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE), FUJIFILM Holdings Corp (TYO:4901), Huawei Technology Co Ltd (SHE:002502), and Shutterfly, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFLY).
The deal has been on-going since this past July; and the final figure is less than previously predicted. However, the company is in no position to be picky. The deal must be approved by a bankruptcy court in January, and once completed will also settle patent disputes between Kodak and the buyers.
Eastman Kodak Company (PINK:EKDKQ) has been dealing with bankruptcy proceedings through 2012, after filing for chapter 11 protection back in January. To stay in business, the company took a loan of $950 million that it received from Citigroup, the agreement of which stipulated that it must sell off some of its intellectual property.
Antonio Perez, Chairman and CEO, said: “This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence.”
“Our progress has accelerated over the past several weeks as we prepare to emerge as a strong, sustainable company. This proposed transaction enables Kodak to repay a substantial amount of our initial DIP loan, satisfy a key condition for our new financing facility, and position our Commercial Imaging business for further growth and success.”
Despite its struggles in recent years, the company believes that it still has some “competitive advantages and strong growth prospects” in commercial imaging technologies.
“Kodak remains a major center of invention and innovation,” said Perez.
Eastman Kodak Company (PINK:EKDKQ)’s shares didn’t move much on the news, but were up slightly by 0.81 percent, staying at $0.21.