Will Apple or Google Be Kodak’s Savior?

Eastman Kodak has won time until February to negotiate a reorganization plan that would allow the company to exit bankruptcy. As part of the plan, the photography company is hoping to sell its patent portfolio to a list of potential buyers that include Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Kodak remains confident that its patents will bring in the minimum amount of $500 million that is required under the terms of a $793 million loan package, and is still in talks with both Apple and Google despite several setbacks and delays. While separate groups led by the two tech companies submitted their bids for Kodak’s digital imaging patents in August, the conclusion of the auction was delayed indefinitely because of differences. The main problem centered on the fact that the bids were worth between $150 million and $250 million, much below Kodak’s original estimates of $2.6 billion.

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On Thursday, Judge Alan Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan granted Kodak until February 28, 2013, to finalize its plans.

Kodak plans to sell its portfolio of patents and some businesses to exit bankruptcy by the middle of next year and emerge with a new focus on its commercial printing division. “Kodak has stabilized its global cash position, its core commercial imaging business is performing well, and Kodak anticipates being global operating cash flow positive upon emergence from Chapter 11,” spokeswoman Stefanie Goodsell told Reuters.

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