Rochester, N.Y. - Kodak said Friday that it will sell most of
its assets in its OLED business to a group of LG companies for an undisclosed
The photo giant
said the move, which is expected to close by the end of the year, will tighten
its investment focus and strengthen its financial position.
Kodak was an early
pioneer in developing OLED technology, having developed the world's first
viable OLED material in the 1970s.
Kodak said it will
have continuing access to its OLED technology for use in its products.
technology is being positioned as the next flat-panel display technology for
consumer HDTVs, its role to date has been limited to smaller-screen TVs,
instrument panels and viewfinders. The technology is extremely energy
efficient; produces strong contrast, color and brightness performance; and
promises ultra-thin screen designs.
The technology has proven difficult to mass produce in the
larger screen sizes needed for today's TV screens, and panel life, although
improved dramatically in recent years, has been difficult to bring up to the
levels of today's LCD and plasma screens.
"As we said
earlier this year, OLED is one of the businesses we wanted to reposition to
maximize Kodak's competitive advantage at the intersection of materials and
imaging science," stated Laura G. Quatela, Kodak's chief intellectual property officer
and OLED business manager. "This action is consistent with that strategy. Our
OLED intellectual property portfolio is fundamental; however, realizing the
full value of this business would have required significant investment."