ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eastman Kodak will receive about $525 million from the sale of its digital imaging patents, money the struggling photo pioneer says will help it emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year.
The Rochester, N.Y., company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after struggling to adapt to the shift to digital photography.
Eastman Kodak Co. said today the patent sale will help it repay a substantial amount of its initial debtor-in-possession loan, and it satisfies a key condition of new financing that required the sale of the patents for at least $500 million.
In November, Kodak said it would receive loans worth $830 million in a new, cheaper financing package, replacing a $793 million deal.
Kodak has been pummeled in recent years as consumers switched to digital photography from film. It put its patents up for sale in July 2011. Analysts initially thought the portfolio could fetch between $2 billion and $3 billion because patents have become highly valuable to digital device makers who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits, but the company struggled to find a buyer. Meanwhile, Kodak has been working to refocus its business on commercial and packaging printing, leaving behind its digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames businesses.
It is selling the patents to a group of licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp. The deal also includes an agreement to settle patent-related litigation.