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Kodak’s hopes of sealing the sale deal for its Prosper inkjet business by the year-end have been dashed, and discussions with potential purchasers will now drag on into 2017.
The group announced plans to sell off its Prosper high-speed inkjet business, including the new Ultrastream technology, in March. It will retain the legacy Versamark operation. At the time of its Q3 results in November, chief executive Jeff Clarke said that after gaining “a lot of attention and buyer profiles” at Drupa, Kodak still expected to make an announcement about the purchaser by the year-end, with the deal to be concluded in H1 2017.
That timetable has now slipped. In a statement, Kodak said that discussions were now expected to extend into 2017.
Kodak said that it was “currently evaluating ways to streamline the Prosper press business to maximize performance and address market opportunities in publishing, high volume direct mail and packaging. “In addition, the company is planning to refocus the business to emphasise printhead components and the development of Ultrastream technology.”
Kodak would not make any additional comment beyond its official statement, and no further details were available about what the restructuring would involve and whether it was being carried out at Kodak’s behest or at that of a potential buyer for the business.
Philip Cullimore, president of Kodak’s Enterprise Inkjet and Micro 3D Printing & Packaging divisions, said: “The Prosper business has been very strong over the first nine months of 2016 with the placement of 12 presses, more than in any comparable period. We also saw a 41% increase in annuity revenues in the third quarter, versus the same period a year earlier.”
Kodak has 63 installations of the Prosper press worldwide, and 1,260 installs of its imprinting units. Its stated aim from the outset of the sale process was to find a buyer with the necessary scale to take the business forward.