Rochester, N.Y. -
said Friday that it will sell most of its assets in its OLED business to a group of LG companies for an undisclosed sum.
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.
Although OLED 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."