Kodak May Call Off Patent Auction After Missing Deadline

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By David Zielenziger | August 17, 2012 11:29 PM EST

Bankrupt imaging giant Eastman Kodak Co. (Pink: EKDKQ) said it may call off its auction of 1,100 patents that was scheduled to conclude Monday. In a statement late Thursday, Kodak said it "has not reached a determination or agreement to sell the digital-imaging portfolio."

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in Manhattan had permitted the auction of the patents, which the Rochester, N.Y., company had estimated might fetch as much as $3 billion a year ago. Bids were received last week from rival syndicates led by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the No. 1 search engine.

Reports said neither side had offered more than $300 million for the lot. Kodak has been hoping to reorganize as a printing company after emerging from  bankruptcy, for which it filed Jan. 19, but needs to repay creditors as well as Citigroup (NYSE:C), which lent the company $950 million for debtor-in-possession financing.

Kodak shares traded around 21 cents early Friday, giving the venerable company a market capitalization of only $58.1 million.

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