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Kodak sells image sensor business after patent fights stall

updated 06:00 pm EST, Mon November 7, 2011

Kodak sells image sensors to Platinum Equity

Kodak late Monday sold off its Image Sensor Solutions group to merger and acquisitions giant Platinum Equity. The deal lets Kodak keep using the sensors for its cameras and high-end uses like satellites, but gives up a key factory and research plant in Kodak's home of Rochester, New York. Kodak made it clear that the selloff was to get it closer to being a strictly digital company.

"Kodak has previously communicated that it would sell assets that are not central to its transformation to a profitable, sustainable digital company," the company explained.

The price of the deal was kept secret.

Kodak's selloff comes as it's showing increasing signs of urgency in its attempt to stay above water. The company has been reported looking for $900 million in rescue funding and has even been open to selling patents, including the very ones it has been using to attack other companies. It has had to warn that it might close up if it can't press other companies into licenses or lawsuit settlements.

Some relief might come in a December 30 ITC ruling that could push Apple or RIM into settling. Kodak otherwise doesn't have a clear path with its current strategy. The company as late as this year was trying to make a business out of lawsuits but, in doing so, let its core camera business continue to wither and gave it less to fall back on if other companies successfully defended themselves in court.

by MacNN Staff



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