Kodak has been offloading many of its signature businesses, and we're seeing a another symbolic changing of the guard today: after deciding to quit digital cameras last year, the company is licensing rights to make Kodak-branded cameras to JK Imaging, a subsidiary of global supplier JA Capital Holdings. No, we're not expecting those names to be immediately recognizable, although the Kodak-badged cameras, pocket camcorders and projectors that should result from the deal will be familiar enough. While it's unfortunate that any future Kodak cameras won't come straight from the original source, we won't judge just yet -- after all, similar deals have led to surprising new directions for some of Kodak's competitors.
Kodak and JK Imaging Announce Brand Licensing Agreement for Consumer Digital Products
ROCHESTER, N.Y., January 07 --
Eastman Kodak Company and JK Imaging, Ltd. today announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement for JK Imaging to license the Kodak brand name for certain consumer products, including digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and portable projectors. JK Imaging plans to launch its first products in the second quarter of 2013.
"Kodak remains a strong and trustworthy brand in the consumer space and this agreement reinforces how valuable our brand is," said Laura Quatela, President of Kodak and Personalized Imaging. "When we announced our plan to exit the digital camera business last year, we said we would explore licensing opportunities for the brand in this category. The JK Imaging team has global experience and expertise in the industry."
JK Imaging's CEO, Joe Atick, is chairman of JA Capital Holdings, a global supplier specializing in consumer imaging and electronics products. Atick said, "Our decision to license the globally-recognized Kodak brand from Eastman Kodak Company was a natural fit. With more than a century of imaging firsts, there is great significance and value in the Kodak name. We intend to continue this legacy and bring to market the next generation of 'must have' portable, personal electronics that enhance the lives of consumers worldwide."
Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.