According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak has started the process of auctioning off some or all of its lucrative patents. Kodak’s demise is well documented as the once $30B company has seen its market cap slide to around $800m as the digital imaging company has continuously lost share to competitors. According to the WSJ one potential bidder is “a large, strategic buyer in the wireless industry looking to use the patents for defensive protection.”
This news comes on the tails of this past Monday’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google for a whopping $12.6B in cash. Google has long been rumored as potential suitors of multiple patent-holding companies such as InterDigital, Kodak and of course Motorola Mobility. If these Kodak patents do sell, they will not gather nearly as high of a price as the Motorola deal, but could likely see Kodak’s stock take a nice move up. This morning’s news of one analyst saying Kodak’s patents could be worth 5x the company’s market cap sent shares up more than 25% and are currently up more than 5% in after hours trading on the latest Wall Street Journal news. Meanwhile, InterDigital saw a pop in its shares today as another rumor was swirling that an auction will take place after Labor Day weekend and that there are multiple interested parties.