Kodak looks to exit film photography business

Puts its film-related businesses up for sale

28 Aug 2012
Kodak Slice

Kodak has confirmed plans to exit the analogue film business, announcing that it is looking for a buyer for its film business as it struggles to pay back debts.

The company was once synonymous with photography, but the move to digital hasn't been kind for Kodak: the company was slow to see the benefits of film-free digital photography, and when it eventually did start to release digital products it found itself all but shut out of a market dominated by the likes of Sony, Casio, Canon and Pentax.

As increasing numbers of photographers made the move to digital - in which it's possible to take as many photographs as you like without bankrupting yourself with film and developing costs - Kodak sank deeper into debt, until it reached its current status of owing creditors $660 million in order to return from its bankruptcy protection status.

With no convincing digital products, that's not a figure the company will be able to raise at retail - so Kodak's management have decided to call time on the whole analogue film business, hoping that an investment group or third-party company will pay for its assets.

As well as the film-making business, Kodak is also looking to sell related services including theme-park imaging - the film-based automated cameras attached to many rides, which take images you can purchase from a stand for a fee - its standalone film-based photo kiosks, and its commercial scanning arm. Also up for grabs is Kodak's online image gallery - which never managed to reach the levels of popularity enjoyed by rival services like Flickr or Instagram - and a large chunk of its patent portfolio.

Whether Kodak manages to sell enough of its business to remain fiscally viable or not, the announcement confirms that film - while not quite dead - is certainly on life support in this digital age.

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