Some potential bidders for the patents are wary of proceeding because a purchase may amount to a so-called fraudulent transfer if Kodak is insolvent, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Kodak confirmed that it hired Jones Day to advise it on considering options and said it doesn’t plan to seek bankruptcy protection.
“As we sit here today, the company has no intention of filing, and there is no change in our strategy to monetize our intellectual property,” Gerard Meuchner, a spokesman for Kodak, said yesterday. “We’re not concerned about fraudulent conveyance in regards to the sale of our IP portfolio.”
The company will make a $14 million coupon payment due today, he said. Meuchner declined to comment on whether the company had discussed a potential filing with law firms, saying that Kodak is “focused on the fourth quarter and on delivering on our strategy to become a profitable, sustainable digital company.”
A number of suitors, such as Google Inc., have signed confidentiality agreements to examine the assets, said the people. If a sale was judged fraudulent, creditors may sue for more money, said one of the people. A bankruptcy filing may help clear the way for a patent sale, said the people. The sale could fetch about $3 billion, MDB Capital Group estimates.