Kodak sells film and kiosk businesses to UK pension scheme
Kodak hopes to sell its consumer film and processing kiosk businesses to its UK pension scheme, to allow it to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move pays off the company's biggest debt - an estimated $2.8bn it was expected to have to pay to the scheme over the coming years. The pension scheme is reported to be paying $650m for the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging units the company announced it would sell last August.
The deal leaves Kodak with no direct involvement in consumer photography. The sale covers the Personalized Imaging business, which includes print kiosks and consumer film, along with the Document Imaging business, that includes scanners and commercial document management.
It is unclear whether the pension scheme hopes to keep the businesses or if it will sell them on. Either way, the Financial Times reports that the 15,000 scheme members will face reduced pension payouts, as it is unlikely the businesses will generate as much money as Kodak was expected to pay. In the same article a pensions consultant has called on the scheme to justify the decision to accept the businesses, rather than letting Kodak be liquidated and claiming a share of the proceeds.
The remainder of Kodak has now said it expects to emerge from bankruptcy as soon as July. In January, the company announced California-registered JK Imaging will license the Kodak name and attach it to various cameras, including Micro Four Thirds models.