Apple, Google opening bids for bankrupt Kodak’s patent well below $2.6 billon earlier valuation

“Opening bids for Eastman Kodak Co.’s digital patents came in far below the $2.6 billion the company said they could be worth, an early sign the bankruptcy-court auction may not leave much cash for the company after creditors are paid off,” Dana Mattioli, Ashby Jones, and Mike Spector report for The Wall Street Journal.
“Kodak received two bids from investor groups pitting Silicon Valley giants Apple Inc. and Google Inc. against each other ahead of an auction set for Wednesday, people familiar with the process said,” Mattioli, Jones, and Spector report. “The bids from the two teams came in around $150 million to $250 million, the people said.”

Mattioli, Jones, and Spector report, “Those initial bids could rise quickly if Apple and Google compete to keep the patents out of each other’s hands amid a legal battle over the lucrative smartphone and tablet markets. A year ago, Google started the bidding for Nortel Networks Inc.’s patents at $900 million before a consortium including Apple and Microsoft Corp. won the bankruptcy auction with an unexpectedly high winning bid of $4.5 billion.”

“Still, the low starting offers mean Kodak will need the consortiums to be extra aggressive if it is to reap enough to repay creditors and have some left over for reorganizing its operations,” Mattioli, Jones, and Spector report. “A poor result would make it more difficult for the company as it works to emerge from Chapter 11 as a printer maker.

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