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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Kodak Might Sell Its Film Business

The Times of London is reporting the possibility that Eastman Kodak of Rochester, New York, could sell off its film business. Analysts report that film may have less than a decade of growth left, with much of that in Asia and less developed countries where digital has been slow to gain a foothold. The Hollywood film industry is one of the last major domestic consumers for film, and even Hollywood will be substantially digital within a decade.

Kodak CEO Antonio Perez declined to comment on a possible sale, but "a source close to the company said that the idea had been discussed by Kodak board members and senior executives and was well within the realms of possibility," said The Times. Film sales are projected to be $3.4 billion this year, decling to $2.7 billion in 2008.

Analysts believe Kodak's film business would command a price of only 50% of sales, estimated as $1.5 billion. The sale would allow resources and revenue to be redirected to Kodak's print and digital arms, which are growing but lag behind industry leaders.

Film has been Kodak's core business for well over 100 years.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON, with thanks to Kevin


Blogger Ken Tanaka said...

It becomes increasingly difficult for me to see how Kodak will survive. At this writing they're planning to jettison nearly half of their workforce by year-end, partly due to selling their health care imaging unit and partly to massive furloughs.

Sale of their crown jewel will be a challenge. It's a business that requires significant periodic capital reinvestments (although nothing like electronics) and faces increasing environmental scrutiny around the world. Plus sales across all application segments are shriveling at breathtaking rates of up to 20% per year. Not exactly a bargain buy.

They continue to crow about what a digital company they're becoming. It's true to a point. They have the most popular digital camera line, by a wide margin, in the industry. But a great deal of its profits now flow to China.

Personally, I'll be sad to see Kodak's eventual and inevitable disappearance from photography. It will be analogous to learning of the death of a wonderful mid-20th century photographer.

7:41 PM  
Blogger h said...

I think it's a great idea. Kodak is, or wants to be, and quite rightly if it wants to be a 'big' company, a digital imaging company. To them film is nothing more than a cash cow (and an ever shrinking cow). I can't see any way that this part of the business wouldn't be better off in the hands of management whose sole care is managing it to a position of long term viability, even if that position will enevitably be a small one. I'm just hoping that someone's got the money, will and skill to take it on.


11:03 PM  
Blogger yoong khean said...

didnt Kodak just stopped its digital camera production recently?
if they do really sell off the film business, i do hope that whoever is buying continue to provide quality film products and services. film may be dying but there are still demands for it worldwide.
i really cant see myself shooting with tri-x ;)

3:20 AM  
Blogger ANDREW! said...

As long as someone continues to make Tri-X I'll be happy. Now, if/when Fuji stops making film I'll be very upset!

5:59 AM  
Blogger Brambor said...

It's like the LP record business. In the grand scheme of things - no one cares anymore.

7:41 AM  
Blogger dillpixel said...

Coming soon....5 years or less?
Workshops on how to make film.
Taught by gray bearded old fat guys.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

You people are harsh.


9:09 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

"You people are harsh."

Yeah, no kidding! Mike's beard isn't gray! ;-)

11:16 AM  
Blogger david bram said...

If Kodak wants out, let them out. They've been slapping the traditional photographer for years. Every year something gets discontinued. Let them be the digital company Perez wants them to be.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Wituniasty said...

400TX TMX Xtol

2:26 PM  

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