Kodak to Sell Off Film Division, Ilford to Benefit
As the sad story of the fall of Eastman Kodak continues, news reports coming out state that Kodak is poised to see off its entire film division, looking to exit that segment of the market entirely. That division includes Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging departments which encompass digital scanners, picture kiosks, souvenir photo products, photographic paper, as well as Kodak’s film businesses, the once bright and shining star of its core competencies.
The British Journal of Photography is reporting that Kodak hopes to sell off the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses before June 2013, but it has moved to reassure photographers that it would seek buyers that share the firm’s commitment to photography. This is only slightly reassuring, as the number of organizations that fall into this category is small (and shrinking), leaving only a few options to begin with. Telling us of their best intents doesn’t really narrow the field, and at this point Kodak is likely more concerned with bailing out the water filling their sinking ship than making sure customers are truly happy with the decisions.
A spokeswoman for Kodak tells said that prospective buyers will be able to use the Kodak trademark with all future film products and added that Kodak “will continue to manufacture all its products (pro film, etc.) during this time [of transition].”
Kodak is banking on the sale of these assets, as CEO Antonio M. Perez said the sales “will be significant milestones toward completing the company’s reorganization and emergence from Chapter 11 during 2013.”
Looking at things from a broader perspective, BJP’s technology contributor Jonathan Eastland said “the news ought to present Ilford with a golden opportunity to net significant gains from the fall-out of Kodak film enthusiasts pondering a switch in allegiance. Fuji has colour but Ilford’s HP5+ black-and-white emulsion is up there with Tri-X; they just need to do a lot more to raise their image profile.”
So Kodak fans, tell us: does it matter to you who Kodak sells to? Who do you think will buy the beleaguered company’s assets? Would you switch to Ilford (if you haven’t already)?