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Kodak failing to find 'pre-auction' bid

June 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 9 (UPI) -- An opening bid for auction of bankrupt Eastman Kodak patents eluded the Rochester, N.Y., company, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Kodak is attempting to use an auction of its digital patent portfolio to help it emerge from bankruptcy court. But the firm has yet to find a so-called "stalking horse bidder," which is bid made before an auction starts that at least sets the bar for other bids to follow.

A stalking horse bidder is considered a huge asset for an auction, said James Malackowski, chief executive officer of Ocean Tomo LLC, an brokerage firm that handles intellectual property.

A pre-auction bid "almost universally" pushes prices higher, he said.

Kodak is attempting to repeat the success of Nortel Networks, which raised $4.5 billion auctioning patents while in bankruptcy.

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., raised $12.5 billion selling a line-up of patents to Google Inc.

An independent review estimated Kodak's 1,100 patents at a value of $2.6 billion. Nevertheless, after pitching the portfolio to a number of firms, interest in the cache of patents appears weak, the newspaper said.

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