Eastman Kodak has announced it will not sell its Prosper inkjet business, citing an increase in sales and offers that did not reflect Prosper’s value.
The company had originally anticipated selling the business by the end of last year to develop its Ultrastream technology, an inkjet printer that can handle mainstream commercial printing and packaging jobs. Xerox was among those rumored to be prospective buyers for Prosper, which employs about 400 people at its plant in Kettering, Ohio.
But on Friday, Kodak said it had decided to retain Prosper following an in-depth management review of its operations and multiple discussions with prospective buyers.
“This is a pragmatic decision given the improvements in the business and the offers received,” CEO Jeff Clarke said in a news release, noting that “Prosper performed well in 2016 with a 40 percent increase in annuity sales for the full year.”
CFO David Bullwinkle described the sale process as “robust,” with prospective buyers expressing “strong interest in the business and technology.”
“While we had multiple offers, the range of consideration did not reflect the value of the business today,” he added.
The company said it expected its Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division to be profitable this year and will continue to invest in its UltraStream program, with products based on the technology expected to go to market in 2019.
“Kodak will begin delivering UltraStream evaluation kits to 17 companies, including Fuji Kikai, GOSS China, Matti, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing & Packaging Machinery, and Uteco, to explore the integration of UltraStream into their future printing solutions,” it said.
In trading Friday, Kodak shares dropped about 5% to $11.00.