Potential Buyers Sizing Up Kodak Patents
Are Kodak’s digital imaging patents truly worth more than the entirety of the company itself? We may soon find out.
Kodak CEO Antonio Perez says interest in that portion of its patent portfolio has been running high since the company began shopping it around earlier this summer, and already a number of potential buyers are evaluating it. Reportedly among them: Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft.
“At the moment we announced [the sale], the phone started to ring,” he told Bloomberg. “… This is the right time. The conversations are going. We are hoping quickly to get to a good conclusion.”
Right time, indeed. Given the current bull market for patents, the 1,100 or so Kodak is shopping around could fetch as much as $3 billion, according to IP investment bank MDB Capital Group. That’s more than five times the struggling company’s market capitalization. “There are some pretty crucial patents here, and there are a lot of people who should be very interested in buying these,” said MDB Capital CEO Chris Marlett. “The auction for the sale of these patents is going to underscore that there’s a big disconnect between the value of the IP and the value of the stock.”