Kodak Continues Digital Shift

With Kodak’s film business continuing to shrink as digital solutions infringe upon both the consumer and professional sides of the business, execs saw a need to re-brand the company as an imaging entity a few years ago. As part of that grand strategy, the company announced this weekend it’s making a big push into high-tech Hollywood.

Kodak says it is paying $30.5 million to buy Laser-Pacific Media Corp., a Los Angeles-based digital post-production company. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2003. For a company with $12.8 billion in annual revenues, the acquisition is small but strategically significant.

Kodak isn’t new to the movie industry post biz. A decade ago, the company founded Cinesite, a division that handled digital mastering of features and effects work.

Kodak has far from abandoned its film side of the entertainment business. On almost any film, TV or commercial shoot one will still find Kodak stock being loaded into production cameras. This year, according to published reports, Kodak’s entertainment group is expected to generate $1.1 billion, or about 8% of Kodak’s overall revenue. Kodak shares Friday fell 8 cents to $27.55 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Laser-Pacific rose $1 to $4.09 on Nasdaq.