Former camera giant Kodak has turned to drugs (as part of its business portfolio)


It’s always sad when a friend has things go badly, they have to sell off most of their things and then they turn to drugs. Except, perhaps, in this one very specific case.

Kodak, of camera film fame, has made the sort of industry jump we’ve only seen Nintendo make (moving from making cards to video games, and that was about fifty years back). Kodak’s just gone… in another direction. That’s right, Kodak will be making and selling drugs.

First one’s free? 

And not in a sketchy way, like that one guy from your home town who twitches all the time and smells like burning chemicals. Kodak’s going completely legit, thanks to a first-of-its-kind load from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. The company has snagged $765 million from the US government in order to pivot from whatever it’s been doing since it sold off its camera business to making drugs. Well, parts of drugs, certainly.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Kodak will make ingredients for several generic drugs, including antimalaria drug hydroxychloroquine that Donald Trump is overly optimistic about. The move is part of a broader one in the States, aimed at shifting the country’s reliance on ingredients and chemicals made oversea a little closer to home.

The move actually makes a kind of sense. Kodak Chief Executive Jim Continenza said that “We have a long, long history in chemical and advanced materials—well over 100 years”, adding that the company’s existing infrastructure would allow it to get the ball rolling faster than other companies might have achieved. Which, before you feel too businesslike, is a statement that also would have applied if the company decided to pivot to making meth, Walter White-style.

The company expects, eventually, to see revenue from drug and ingredient production to eventually make up to 40% of its earnings overall. Hopefully, this goes over better than Kodak’s last pivot, an ill-fated foray into the world of cryptocurrency.

Source: Wall Street Journal


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