Kodak Will Retain PROSPER Inkjet Business

ROCHESTER, NY | Eastman Kodak Company reports it will retain its PROSPER inkjet business. “This is a pragmatic decision given the improvements in the business and the offers received,” says Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke. “PROSPER performed well in 2016 with a 40 percent increase in annuity sales for the full year. We expect our Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division (EISD) to be profitable this year, including our next-generation ULTRASTREAM investment.

Kodak will continue to invest in its ULTRASTREAM program and has entered into letters of intent with partners which will create new applications that drive market demand for the technology. The company will begin delivering ULTRASTREAM evaluation kits to 17 companies to explore its integration into their future printing solutions and expects products built on ULTRASTREAM technology to go to market in 2019.

“The sale process for PROSPER which we conducted over the past year was robust,” says David Bullwinkle, Kodak Chief Financial Officer. “We hired Sagent Advisors, which solicited interest from global organizations. Strong interest in the business and technology existed throughout the process. While we had multiple offers, the range of consideration did not reflect the value of the business today."

The company will recast financial results to reclassify PROSPER into continuing operations of the company within the Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division. Kodak has been accounting for PROSPER in discontinued operations as an asset available for sale and will provide an update of this reclassification on its next quarterly earnings call.

In other news from Kodak, the company says Randy Vandagriff, who has played an integral role in the development of ULTRASTREAM technology and the digital print business since 2004, will become president of the Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division effective May 1, 2017.

Vandagriff says, “It’s an exciting time to continue driving Kodak’s inkjet business forward, as ULTRASTREAM Technology will move production inkjet into the mainstream of commercial printing, packaging, labels, and home décor. I look forward to working closely with our PROSPER press and head customers going forward, as well as OEMs in the coming months and years to bring ULTRASTREAM technology to market.”

Kodak also announces a revision to its reporting structure. The Micro 3D Printing business within the Micro 3D Printing and Packaging division (MPPD) has been moved into a new division named Advanced Materials and 3D Printing Technology (AM3D), which also includes the operations of the current Intellectual Property Solutions Division. The new AM3D division is being led by Terry Taber, Kodak chief technical officer, as president. The Flexographic Packaging business, formerly part of MPPD, is being reported as a dedicated division. The Flexographic Packaging Division is led by Chris Payne as president. These changes will be reflected in Kodak’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2017.

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