Exclusive: H.I.G. Capital Buys LaserPacific

Kodak says post-production facility will retain staff but layoffs reportedly happened Tuesday

EXCLUSIVE

LaserPacific Media Corporation, a post-production facility in Hollywood, has been sold by parent company Eastman Kodak to H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm, TheWrap has learned. 

A deal has been signed, but official confirmation is not expected until it closes in the coming weeks. Under the agreement, LaserPacific will be affiliated with a family of post-production companies – under H.I.G.

"This is a strategic decision, to better position Laser while affording Kodak the opportunity to continue to participate in post-production services," David Lanzillo, a spokesman for Kodak, told TheWrap.

"This outcome makes LaserPacific part of a larger post-production entity, and gives it access to a broader set of market opportunities," Lanzillo added. "Synergies across the portfolio will also benefit customers."

Layoffs were rumored to be ongoing Tuesday; employees were sent home and told they would be notified about their future status with the company.

LaserPacific declined repeated calls for comment.

Kodak refuted those reports, however, and said it expected most of LaserPacific's 250-plus employees to transition to the new H.I.G.-operated entity.

No word on the financial terms of the deal, but Kodak bought LaserPacific for $30 million in 2003, hoping to establish a foothold in the television post-production world.

The move comes after Kodak released its fourth-quarter results at the end of January, in which the company reported a profit of $1.40 a share, compared with a loss of $3.42 a share at the same point last year. Revenues rose 6 percent, beating many analysts’ expectations.

The deal was inked in advance of Kodak's annual strategy meeting with the investment community in New York, which is set for Thursday.