The UK Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) has completed its acquisition of the Kodak Personalized Imaging (paper & chem, etc) and Document Imaging businesses from Eastman Kodak Company and created a new company, which will be known as Kodak Alaris.
The new name, according to the press announcement ‘preserves the heritage and legacy of the Kodak brand, while embodying greater speed and agility to meet market needs and changes.’
Kodak Alaris has a perpetual license to use the Kodak brand. It says it will focus on ‘strategic, ongoing investments’.
‘Our excitement around the acquisition of these businesses comes not just from their market strength but from what we see as long-term, highly successful growth opportunities,’ said Steven Ross, chairman of KPP. ‘Today starts the new chapter of a storied brand and we’re thrilled with the potential the new company holds for our plan members, our customers, and our employees.’
Heading up the two business units in Kodak Alaris are Dennis Olbrich, president of Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging business, and Dolores Kruchten, president of Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging business.
When the transaction completes globally, Kodak Alaris will have more than 4700 employees in approximately 30 countries with expected revenue of more than US$1.3 billion.
The Kodak Personalized Imaging Business consists of Retail Systems Solutions (retail photo kiosks and dry lab systems); Paper & Output Systems; Film Capture, (a range of – unspecified – still-camera film products – but not cameras or printers); and Event Imaging Solutions ( souvenir photography services and solutions at theme parks, etc).
KPP Trustees Ltd (KPP), trustee of the Kodak Pension Plan of the United Kingdom, is the owner of Kodak Alaris into which the Personalized Imaging business of Eastman Kodak Company is being transferred. The Plan has approximately 15,000 members and assets in excess of £1 billion.
Kodak Alaris: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Given the interest within Photo Counter’s readership on this issue, and the difficulty of getting a real live Kodak executive to communicate, we publish the Q&A document accompanying the main annoucement in full:
What are you announcing today?
Today, we’re announcing that the UK Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) has completed the acquisition of the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses from Eastman Kodak Company and has created a new company, which will be known as Kodak Alaris, which includes both businesses.
What does Kodak ‘Alaris’ mean?
The new company and its name preserve the heritage and legacy of the Kodak brand, while embodying greater speed and agility to meet market needs and changes.
Where will Kodak Alaris be based?
Kodak Alaris will operate in the same countries as it did under Eastman Kodak Company and its leadership will reside in Rochester, NY (USA). The KPP will be headquartered in the UK
Who will lead the new company?
Dennis Olbrich, president of Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging business, and Dolores Kruchten, president of Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging business, will provide leadership for Kodak Alaris and report to Steven Ross, independent chairman of the KPP.
What is the UK Kodak Pension Plan?
The UK Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) is a trust established to pay pension benefits to Kodak’s current and former UK employees who are plan participants. While the KPP utilizes the ‘Kodak’ name, it has been and will remain a completely separate entity from Eastman Kodak Company.
Why does it make sense for KPP to make this purchase?
The Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging and Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging businesses will deliver long-term cash flow capable of funding the plans’ obligations. KPP representatives have emphasized that they see these businesses as a key element of their long-term strategy. They value the businesses because they generate cash and can provide a revenue stream over an extended period into the future to meet the plan’s obligations. Pension plans are focused on longer-term investments, 20-30 years.
How does this acquisition benefit Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging and Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging customers, partners, distributors, etc.?
KPP has the capacity to ensure investment in the businesses and will actively support the company in its development.
Are all Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses in all regions moving over to Kodak Alaris today?
While the majority of countries across the globe go live with immediate effect, finalization of the sale process in some countries will conclude later due to the time needed to meet local legal requirements. For these late closing countries, Eastman Kodak Company will continue to employ the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging staff and conduct business with customers as before until all formalities are completed. We are communicating with our customers in all regions so they know what to expect and when.
When will all regions/countries be part of Kodak Alaris?
We expect this to be completed by mid-2014.
Will you still offer consumer products and services?
Absolutely. The consumer businesses are an incredibly important part of Kodak Alaris. This is why it was even more important that we secure the rights to use the Kodak brand to ensure consumers can still engage with the products and services from a brand they know and trust. We will continue to innovate in the consumer imaging space to provide the best consumer experience with the pre-eminent photo brand.
Who should customers, suppliers, distributors and partners contact with questions?
Customers, suppliers, distributors and partners should continue to work with their current day-to-day contact.
What will happen to the businesses that remain with Eastman Kodak Company?
Eastman Kodak Company has emerged from Chapter 11 and we are optimistic about its future.
Is a licence for the Kodak brand part of the deal?
Yes, we have a perpetual license to use the Kodak brand. This includes a worldwide exclusive license to utilize certain sub brands, trademarks, trade dress, graphic designs, product names, and domain names in connection with the products and services included in the asset sale and their extensions.
Will there be changes to your product portfolio, services or areas of geographic coverage?
There will be no immediate changes to our product portfolio, services or geographic coverage because of the change of ownership. However, the new company has more potential to invest in these businesses, so over time we will continue to adjust our product and services to capitalize on both market needs and opportunities.
Are manufacturing employees part of the transaction? Where are the manufacturing sites for Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging and Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging?
A number of manufacturing facilities and employees who are dedicated to the businesses are included in the transaction. Those major manufacturing locations include Harrow in the UK; Shanghai, Xiamen and Wuxi in China ; Windsor, CO; Manaus, Brazil; Malanpour, India; Pereslavl, Russia; and Rochester, NY.
Where will manufacturing happen for paper, chemicals and film?
All of our paper manufacturing capability around the world will move to the new company. Our consumer and professional film will continue to be made in Kodak’s world-class film factories via a supply agreement. This gives us the best of both worlds: the ability to continue to innovate on thermal and silver halide paper where Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging already has scale, and to enjoy the manufacturing scale provided in partnership with Kodak, which will continue to make motion picture and commercial film.
How much longer will you sell film?
As we’ve said for many years, the lifecycle of film will depend on profitable demand by consumers and professionals for the products.
What will happen to all your KEX locations?
The independent photo retailers who are part of the KEX network are an important part of our past, and will be central to our future. The KEX branding and relationship will transfer to our new ownership. We will continue to work together to build the best go-to-market propositions for Kodak Alaris’ Personalized Imaging products and services in the world.