Kodak is selling its Chinese plate factory to Lucky HuaGuang Graphics as part of a new partnership deal that will see HuaGuang license Kodak’s plate know-how.
The deal encompasses the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. It includes a supply agreement whereby HuaGuang will help Kodak fulfil existing customer demand, and an arrangement for HuaGuang to license Kodak’s intellectual property. The two firms have previously collaborated on a number of projects over many years.
In a statement, Kodak said: “By partnering with one of the largest graphics players in a region that is seeing a growing demand for resource-efficient solutions, Kodak seeks to significantly increase the adoption of its Sonora plates in China.”
State-owned HuaGuang currently has an annual production capacity that includes 90m square metres of offset printing plates, 700,000 square metres of flexo plates and 20m square metres of silver salt film, according to the firm’s website.
The firm’s president, Zhang Tao, said: “Kodak is a well-known company in the prepress field, the new cooperation with Kodak can speed up the conversion of offset plates to process free plates in China, which will promote the process of green environmental protection in the printing industry in China.”
Kodak invested $50m (£40m) in setting up the Xiamen plant, which opened in 2007. A second plate line was added to the facility in 2010.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Kodak said it was expected to be finalised in Q3.
Kodak senior vice president John O’Grady said: “The endorsement of Sonora by one of the biggest players in the industry is a testament to the strength of Kodak’s technology.
“We are excited to work with HuaGuang to advance the conversion of China’s print market to process free plates and help print industry customers – and those they serve – lower their environmental impact.”
Kodak said it would maintain its existing go-to-market structure in China.
Separately, Kodak has announced that due to “certain changes to its organisation structure” it is eliminating the position of president of its Brand, Film & Imaging division. Incumbent Eric Mahe will leave the business on 25 August as a result.