October 22, 2020

Kodak pivots to pharmaceuticals: What’s behind the move?


Kodak used to be king when it came to cameras and film. In 1976, Kodak had a near monopoly of the U.S. photography market, accounting for 90% of film and 85% of camera sales, according to The Economist.

But the move to digital photography in the early 2000s hit the company hard. Ironically, Kodak actually invented the first digital camera back in 1975, but at the time, film was the company’s golden egg and executives were hesitant to change. In 2012, Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

Kodak emerged from bankruptcy in September 2013 as a much leaner company, mostly focused on high-speed digital printing technology and flexible packaging for consumer goods. After a short stint in phone and tablet business, Kodak raised eyebrows in 2018 after it announced its foray into cryptocurrency. 

But none of these ventures seemed to stick. Now, as the coronavirus sweeps across the world, Kodak has another opportunity to revive its business in the form of a $765 million government loan to produce generic pharmaceutical ingredients. But the loan, which is still just a letter of interest, has been put on hold while the SEC investigates the circumstances around Kodak’s disclosures. Watch the video above to learn more about why Kodak is pivoting to pharmaceuticals. 



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