Kodak to Sell Its Camera Film and Imaging Businesses in $2.8 Billion Deal


We reported last August that Kodak was looking to sell its camera film business along with a number of other core businesses. Well, the company has now succeeded.

Kodak announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell off its two remaining imaging divisions — which includes its photographic film business — in a major deal worth $2.8 billion.

The company is handing over control of its Personal Imaging and Document Imaging divisions to the United Kingdom’s Kodak Pension Plan (KPP), which is the bankrupt firm’s largest creditor.

In addition to settling $2.8 billion in obligations with KPP, Kodak will be receiving $650 million in cash and other assets in exchange for the divisions.

Kodak first began selling film, chemicals, and paper in 1889

Kodak first began selling film, chemicals, and paper in 1889

The Personal Imaging division includes over 100,000 Kodak kiosks located around the world, photographic paper, photographic film, and souvenir photo products. The Document Imaging division includes things like scanners and related software/services.

Kodak CEO Antonio Perez says that this deal will allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy as it transforms into a commercial printing company.

There’s no word yet on what the future holds for Kodak’s film and paper lines, which are still used by countless photographers around the world. The company does say that the deal will provide financial stability for the businesses that will be “beneficial to those businesses’ employees, customers and partners.” That’s a silver lining for film photographers who don’t want to see Kodak films disappear.

Image credits: Kodak films by boolve, Photo Chemicals and Paper (1968) by Hunter-Desportes

  • Duke Shin

    I hope to Allah that it’s bought by a real manufacturer, not turned over to hipsters like impossibleproject who’ll sell crappy emulsions at triple the cost..

  • Duke Shin

    Oh, and Antonio Perez for CEO of the Year Award

  • tttulio

    who would be dumb enough? I still buy film, but who makes money from films these days.
    Their Digital Cameras are not worth the branding. As products, any Chinese manufacturer can do better.

  • Mat Miller

    Does Kodak even realize that mobile devices are taking over print?

  • Mantis

    Kodak digital cameras aren’t even make by Kodak.

    They’re cheap third party garbage who bought the Kodak licensing name.

  • Fullstop

    lol @ impossibleproject

  • ramanauskas

    The Kodak executives don’t care. And why should they–now they have another three billion bucks to skim off in bonuses and to distribute to their rich cronies. Utterly venal, utterly corrupt.

  • Michael McNamara

    When they stopped making a bunch of films, they said that their large and medium format films were still profitable. But I’m still going to load up on 4×5’s and put them in my freezer.

  • Micheal Eddings

    Film has just died.

  • jhdylan

    TURNED over… Duke you need to get your facts straight. Polaroid was out of business gone forever. Period. Until some of the lead scientist from the last remaning factory and some finaciers decided it would be HUGE loss to let it all go. THe emulsions are not crappy at al they are actually really good. I shoot the 8×10 as well as some of the other smaller formats. Now while it is not set up for demanding commercial skills the likes of you may THINK you have. it is a wonderful product. it is fun and if yo do not care for it do not buy it. but to make statements like the one yo did is ignorant of facts. Oh and I am 47 so I am not a HIPSTER.

  • Jetsetter23

    Wow…making fun of Impossible, you’re so awesome. Why don’t you try inventing a new form of film from scratch and tell me how it goes? That’s what I thought.
    It took Edwin Land 15 years and a crapload of money to make integeral film, Impossible did it in 3 years with a fraction of the budget.
    I’ve shot every version of their film, and I get great results with it. Maybe it’s you. The earlier versions of the film were fully disclosed as experimental, and many of us did really really well with them.
    Instead of knocking anyone who is trying to keep film photography going, why don’t you go out and shoot some film?

  • Jetsetter23

    Word. The new 8×10 is georgeous. I can’t wait for the color to be mass released. I have three sheets of the new color left.

  • jhdylan

    Agreed I have 10 sheets of the color left… WOW. it is amazing. I am setting up power in the back of my Land rover. I plan on going “out” with both black and white and color around the Philadelphia area over the next 2 weeks. .

  • Federico Montemurro

    More cash for the incompetent CEO

  • Gordon Cooper

    So… Are the factories going to keep making film here in the US? Will they close and relocate?

  • Ken Akiva Shapero

    Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) ? What kind of company is this? This cannot be good news.

  • Emmett

    How exactly do you figure they invented a “new form of film from scratch”?

    They had the groundwork laid for them for DECADES. They only needed to come up with a few chemicals that couldn’t be manufactured anymore. They didn’t INVENT new film. They had to re-invent a few bits.

    I really like the fact that they sold their early failures to morons like you at premium prices. The “Fade to Black” was an extremely brilliant marketing concept that hipsters bought hook, line, and sinker. They could sell water to a drowning hipster if they said water was “retro-analog”.

  • Admiral Kerfluffle

    So Kodak owed the K.P.P. (about 1.4b USD), a massive amount of money for unfunded pension obligations for current and future retirees. Kodak had no way to pay the balance owed to the fund, so KPP took in trade the only thing of value Kodak owned, the film business. Since the film business was worth 2.8b, KPP returned the excess balance owed back to Kodak.
    Now the pension fund owns the film business. The pension fund needs to convert that film business into cash to pay out the pension obligations it owes over the next several decades. Like many pension funds, it can hope to operate it profitably, or it can sell off for cash some or all of it. Remains to be seen how that will play out. I hope they sell to a competitor that will continue to operate it and knows how to run a business.

    Commentary: As we see more and more everyday, unfunded or underfunded pension obligations are the deathknell for many companies. Of course, this all pales in comparison to the $3.100,000,000,000 (trillion) estimated unfunded obligations that you and I owe to Government pension plans. About 1100x what Kodak owed. We are in the exact same boat as Kodak found itself, except we have no ongoing business model to fund them, except for future tax dollars. We can do like Kodak has done and trade assets for a portion of the balance. I wonder how much several dozen F-22s or part of Yellowstone National Park would offset what we owe to the retirees?

  • Paul Glover

    Harman (Ilford Photo) would appear to be doing quite well with a business that’s largely been built around black and white film, paper and chemicals. Supposedly Kodak’s film division was one of the few profitable parts of the company.

  • Jetsetter23

    I’m sorry you are so upset with me for pointing out that yes—they did invent a new form of film! Contrary to your rant, it was more than firing up the old machines and fiddling with a few new chemicals. It is comprised of a new negative, new development chemicals, and an entirely new opacification layer. There are over 30 different components to a pack of film. The actual film is thicker than a Polaroid. By the way, the new batch of film’s highly improved opacification layer has an entirely new MOLECULE in it. Say What?! The film just happens to fit in a Polaroid camera. I consider that a new medium of film. And what’s with throwing around the terms hipster? I’m too ironic to be a hipster. ;o)
    What does that even mean, really? Is it meant to discount my education, or my ability to take a photograph? Because I can assure you, I’m comfortable with both my education and my abilities when it comes to photography. I can make instant film sing. What about you? 
    Did Impossible stand on the shoulders of Edwin Land? Absolutely! I wasn’t implying that the advancements made by the chemists at Polaroid meant nothing. Many of the same people who worked on integral film the first time around now work for Impossible. I highly suggest reading Christopher Bonanos’ book, Instant: The Story of Polaroid if you want actual insight and facts on what went down when Polaroid was in its heyday and what happened when they ceased film production.
    Yes, Fade to Black was a brilliant Marketing concept. Was it meant for a general photography customer? Probably Not.  You know what would have happened to all that film otherwise? It would have been sitting in a landfill in the Netherlands. Now, you may not have enjoyed it or understood how conceptually interesting the film was—but there were a lot of really talented people who made interesting work and continue to do so.
    Kodak…in whatever form their film division now takes, could learn a thing or two from both Impossible and Lomography. The focus of any film manufacturer should putting film into the hands of new customers, or customers who may have put down their film camera for a few years to take up digital. You aren’t going to do that if you don’t change your strategy. If your beef is with a certain aesthetic, that’s on you. I can get clean, crisp images from Instant Film, Lomo film, and toy cameras.  Are you mad because you don’t fall into a target market for an ad campaign? Get over yourself!
    I’m personally not a huge fan of Lomography’s Marketing and Branding choices, but I think the fact that they put film into the hands of people who might not have had the privilege of using it before pretty fantastic. Anybody who keeps film alive or pushes the medium of photography in a different direction deserves support and respect, even if it isn’t your cup of tea. (Film, Digital or Otherwise) It’s a hell of lot more interesting than bitching and moaning on the internet because you couldn’t figure out how to make a pretty picture.

  • Eric Sutton

    As with any transfer of ownership things can get lost or found. Kodak film division has formulas for 100’s of film emulsions that they discontinued or only produced elsewhere in the world over the decades. What is to say that a new order of creatives from KPP might decide to start small batching production of the forgotten films and bring on an a la carte formula like Lomography did with LomoChrome Purple. They sold out in days! I am wishing for KPP100HC or KPPUnderwater400 how are those for new names? Any other wishing from the vaults? How about Kodak Direct Positive film developer for Negative Emulsion(what you did before SCALA film came out).

  • Felipe Paredes Schulz

    Chaps in the UK, I found agfa vista color 200 in the one pound store.