ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A patent sale that potentially could reap billions for cash-strapped Eastman Kodak takes a big step Monday as the company has set a 5 p.m. ET deadline for bidders to submit their offers.
Kodak is counting on the sale of digital imaging-related patents to pay off the lenders keeping it afloat during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A firm hired by Kodak put a potential price tag on the patents of $2.4 billion.
Ken Luskin of Intrinsic Value Asset Management, pointing to the patents' potential in blocking competitors' products, particularly smartphones and tablets, said they could fetch more than $4.5 billion.
A lucrative sale would be good news for all the creditors left holding IOUs when Kodak declared bankruptcy in January, as it would increase the likelihood they get back more than the 30 cents on the dollar that is currently Kodak's goal.
Analysts who follow Kodak say companies interested in the patents include Google and a consortium of Apple, Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures. A bidding war could mean good things for Kodak.
The Apple-Microsoft consortium "probably could not be more of a provocation to Google to stay in the bidding, whatever the cost," according to an analysis by intellectual property industry publication Intellectual Asset Management.
If Kodak receives more than one qualified bid, it could hold an auction Aug. 8. The company is to announce the winner of the bidding by Aug. 13.
Daneman also reports for the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle