The Main Kodak Film Business is Up for Sale Again
Kodak Alaris — notably a different brand from the perhaps more well-known Eastman Kodak — is to be sold by its owner, the UK’s Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
Kodak Alaris, a spinoff company of the original Eastman Kodak Company (known more popularly as simply Kodak), focuses on equipment — think film, photo paper, and printing and was separated as a new business from the larger Kodak brand when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Kodak owed the UK Kodak Pension Plan $2.8 billion at the time.
The PPF has been involved with the KPP’s retiree payments since 2013 and has owned Kodak Alaris since 2020, as Sky News notes.
Kodak Alaris might be best known for the Kodak Moments brand which operates an online photo printing service and can also be accessed via kiosks that can be found in retail stores around the United States. While Eastman Kodak is the manufacturer behind Kodak branded film, it is passed on to Kodak Alaris, which owns the exclusive rights to sell still film to consumers.
While Kodak Alaris was looking optimistic in 2013, just after being spun off, signs of trouble have been around for a while now. In 2016, Kodak Alaris shut down one of its five major manufacturing plants, though it maintained its commitment to fill orders despite the issues.
According to Sky News, which broke news of the Kodak Alaris sale, the valuation of the spin-off brand or when exactly the sale might even take place is unknown and a spokesperson from PPF declined to comment. However, the British news site noted that Kodak Alaris saw a 29% increase in revenue, which it said was likely due to recovery following Covid-19.
That might help in the “talks with banks” Sky News reports are going on with the PPF regarding an auction of Kodak Alaris. That’s especially true as the company reported losses in 2021 and 2022, according to Inside Imaging.
It’s unclear what this means for the film and equipment Kodak Alaris continues to produce. Notably, Kodak Alaris developed a new version of the famous Kodak Ektachrone film, which was used in the second season of HBO’s Euphoria. Despite those milestones, Kodak Alaris’s future remains in flux.
Image credits: Background of header photo licensed via Depositphotos.