updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri September 14, 2012
Bidders reportedly bid a maximum of $500 million
Eastman Kodak admitted to bankruptcy court Judge Allan Gropper that its patent auction has faltered, and the company has so far been unable to reach a deal with a group of prospective buyers. The company has said that it is delaying the end of the auction indefinitely, and will evaluate other options for the patents for sale. Kodak said it would no longer continue brief extensions of the final sale hearing date. Instead, the patent sale discussions would continue outside the auction, and the court would be notified if a deal is reached. Kodak did warn the judge that it "may not reach acceptable terms with parties via the auction process."
Eastman Kodak announced at the end of August it would sell its print-film business and several other related businesses to raise additional funds. Kodak's businesses up for sale include heavy-duty commercial scanners with embedded optical character recognition for form processing, a business that takes photos of theme park visitors, and kiosks that print digital photos.
The bankrupt former film and camera pioneer has announced its intention to lay off 1,000 more workers by the end of the year, and more job losses may be necessary to stay afloat, especially considering the auction failure. Kodak's workforce has fallen to approximately 14,700 from a peak of 145,000 some 30 years ago. The cost-savings expected from the layoffs, the patent auction, and the sale of business assets were originally intended to generate billions of dollars loaned to Kodak to continue operations through its restructuring period.