Shares of bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. (PINK:EKDKQ) rose 5 percent early Thursday after reports it had finally sold about 1,100 imaging patents for sale for 16 months.
In early trading, shares of the Rochester, N.Y., photography and imaging company rose to 21 cents, valuing the much diminished company at only $52 million, a far cry from its days as one of Wall Street's bluechip companies.
CEO Antonio Perez hired Lazard (NYSE:LAZ) to run a patent auction in August 2011 following the $4.6 billion sale of patents from defunct Nortel Networks of Canada. A syndicate including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and Ericsson (NYSE:ERIC) won the Nortel intellectual property.
Reports said Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy in Manhattan in January, had finally sold the patents for about $500 million, or about a quarter of the amount the company had originally sought.
Kodak itself last month lowered the amount it expected to receive in the sale during refinancing negotiations, which raised a fresh $830 million last week.
Bankers specializing in patents had said the Kodak trove was worth at least $2 billion and potentially more before the bankruptcy, but far less after. Many of the companies that participated in the Nortel auction were known to be interested because of Kodak's photography innovations.
Kodak hasn't yet announced the auction, which would have to be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Alan Gropper. The company has said it would sell virtually all its consumer businesses in film, photography and printers and focus solely on commercial imaging if it can emerge from bankruptcy next year.
To contact the editor, e-mail: