By ANDREW MARTIN
Published: December 19, 2012
Eastman Kodak announced on Wednesday that it had successfully sold its sizable patent portfolio, which company officials have considered a crucial step toward rebuilding the beleaguered company.
Under the terms of the deal, Kodak will be paid $ 525 million by a consortium led by Intellectual Ventures and the RPX Corporation. The two companies plan to pay for part of the sale by licensing the intellectual property to 12 other companies. The company had once valued its portfolio of 1,100 digital imaging patents at $ 2.6 billion.
Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in January after decades of trying to reinvent itself, most recently trying unsuccessfully to break into the consumer printer market. It also announced in August that it would sell its film business, which had made Kodak a household name.
“This monetization of patents is another major milestone toward successful emergence,” said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak’s chairman and chief executive, in prepared remarks.
Mr. Perez said the patent sale would help the company pay a “substantial amount” of a debtor-in-possession loan that it obtained after filing for bankruptcy. The sale also meets a major provision of a November loan that required Kodak to sell its patent portfolio for no less than $ 500 million.
Mr. Perez said the company was now focused on building its commercial imaging business, which includes printing and packaging for businesses. The company believes it has “significant competitive advantages and strong growth prospects,” according to its news release.
The sale is subject to the approval of United States Bankruptcy Court.