ROCHESTER, N.Y., December 22 --
Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) announced today that, consistent with its previously announced intention to sell non-core assets to sharpen the Company’s focus on its digital growth initiatives and accelerate Kodak’s transformation to a digital company, it has agreed to sell its Eastman Gelatine Corporation business to Rousselot, part of the Vion Food Group. Financial details were not disclosed. Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close within 30 days.
About 95 Eastman Gel employees associated with the business will continue with the business following the closing. Included in the sale is 575,000 square foot of production space in Peabody, Mass.
Eastman Gel has been successfully managing the transition of the photographic market by increasingly expanding its sales into non-photographic categories, such as the pharmaceutical, edible protein and food/confectionary categories.
“Eastman Gelatine is a business that is well-positioned in this industry,” said Brad W. Kruchten, President, Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group, and Kodak Senior Vice President. “This sale is another step in our value creation program for our shareholders and enhances Kodak’s financial position.”
Kruchten noted that Rousselot is positioned to help Eastman Gelatine continue the recent growth in its sales outside the photographic industry.
“Rousselot is an ideal acquirer of Eastman Gelatine because it is strategic to them and the company is committed to growing the business for the benefit of customers and employees,” Kruchten said. “I’m very pleased that we have such a favorable outcome for all of our constituents.”
Dirk Kloosterboer, Vice Chairman of the Vion board, welcomes the acquisition of Eastman Gel as an important opportunity to strengthen Rousselot's position in both growing pharmaceutical markets and its current position in North America. "This acquisition contributes to our strategy of worldwide presence in gelatine and proximity to customers,” Kloosterboer said.