CAMDEN, Maine -- The Eastman Kodak Co. Thursday said it agreed to sell its high-technology education and training facility to Grace Managment Group for an undisclosed sum.
The Center for Creative Imaging will be acquired by the Brace, the management company for several subsidiaries in the imaging field, in early March.
Kodak opened the center in early 1991 to showcase state-of-the-art imaging technology at workshops in a restored building in Camden.
The center teaches imaging technology similar to the 'morphing' techniques that splice scenes of long-dead film stars into contemporary settings for commercials or enable architects to create and manipulate total images of buildings still on the drawing board.
Paul C. Allen, an Eastman Kodak spokesman at the company headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., said 'we feel the center has performed as a showcase for the present and future of imaging technology.
'We have been taking a hard look at those businesses which are not directly related to manufacturing and marketing products in our core technologies,' Allen said.
'The center continues to function, but the sale relieves Kodak of day-to-day operating of the facility,' he said.
The center has a staff of about 30, mostly contract employees. Allen had no comment on the costs of running the center.
Allen would not comment on how long Kodak had looked for a buyer for the center.
Peter F. Davidson, president of Brace Management Group, said 'we're going to be operating their existing programs and building up the number. We hope that the expansion will mean additional jobs, ratherthan fewer.'
Brace is based in Camden.
'We believe we can operate the center profitably,' Davidson said.
Kodak's Allen said the center operates year-round, offering one-week courses on a fee basis. He said the fees vary but could not provide a range of charges.
Allen said the center's aims were to provide programs to teach people how to make more professional use of images and did not serve as a showcase of Kodak products only. He said a number of companies participate in the center, including Apple computers, but do not have a financial stake.
Eastman Kodak reported third-quarter earnings of $189 million, or 58 cents a share, in contrast to a loss of $118 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.
Allen said the loss in 1991 was due to significant one-time charges, including $435 million to cover the costs of early retirements, restructuring foreign manufacturing and photo-finishing operations.
Kodak has been reviewing the status of all its business units and has sold its Videk, Estek, Atex, and Interactive Systems within the past few months.
'We will be reviewing the status of many of our units, always paying attention to cost reductions,' Allen said.
In early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Kodak was ahead 12.5 cents a share to $40.50.