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Kodak plans to sell Flexographic Packaging Division

Aug 9, 2018

Eastman Kodak says that it plans to sell  to sell its Flexographic Packaging Division.

That division is involved in a form of printing which uses flexible plates to print on a wide variety of packaging materials.

CEO Jeff Clarke says this is a great opportunity to get value for shareholders since there has been strong interest in the division. He says the Flexographic unit has performed exceptionally well, but he says by selling the unit, it will help allow Kodak to focus on growth areas.

That division employs around 300 people, with around 20 of those employees in Rochester.

In terms of earnings for the 2nd quarter, Kodak saw earnings of $4 million, which is flat compared to earnings a year ago at this time. Sales of $372 million were down about $9 million from a year ago.

The company says earnings were adversely impacted by the cost of aluminum, which was partially upset by growth in key products as well as cost reductions.

Kodak says it has also been taking steps to reduce expenses and drive greater efficiencies. That may include cutting around 325 jobs worldwide.  A spokesman says there's no specifics yet for Rochester, but he notes that about 25 percent of the total workforce is located in Rochester, so the impact is likely to be felt proportionately.  That would potentially mean a reduction of about 80 jobs.

Due to financial reporting requirements, Kodak also had to file a notice which indicates that it would have trouble to “continue as a going concern” if it can't raise money through the sale of the Flexographic division and refinance certain loans. But Clarke says Kodak has had a lot of interest from potential buyers for that division.

Brighton Securities Chairman George Conboy says Kodak just isn’t generating a lot of cash right now.

“Unfortunately Kodak is not a growth story, despite their earlier rhetoric when the company emerged from bankruptcy. Kodak currently is a survival story, and at this point, the best we can hope for is that Kodak survives and manages to eke out consistent profitability even at a modest level.”

Clarke says the priorities for the second half of 2018 will be focused on selling the Flexographic Packaging Division, improving efficiency of the operations and continuing to deliver growth in strategic growth areas. He says Kodak continues to see growth in its SONROA plates, FLEXCEL NX and PROSPER annuities businesses.