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Kodak, continuing post-bankruptcy restructuring, pursues sale of its upstate NY business park

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ROCHESTER, New York — Kodak is looking for a buyer for its 1,200-acre Eastman Business Park so that it can focus on its commercial imaging businesses, company officials said Tuesday.

The photography and film pioneer, which emerged from bankruptcy in September, has for several years been marketing the park to outside tenants. More than 50 companies currently operate on the site, which includes a power plant and in-plant railroad.

"Eastman Business Park is already on the path to becoming a powerful economic growth engine for our region and a vibrant center of invention to several technology sectors," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Clarke said in a news release. "A strong new owner will expedite that process. At the same time, Kodak needs to focus on what it does best: innovating and delivering superior solutions to customers around the world."

Kodak would maintain a significant presence at the site and become a tenant of the new owner, spokesman Christopher Veronda said.

About 4,700 people currently work in the park.

"Hundreds of new high-tech research and advanced manufacturing jobs have been created at Eastman Business Park over the last two years," said Brad Kruchten, president of the Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films Group. "The site is now positioned to realize its potential to develop new, cutting-edge technologies, especially in functional films, energy storage and bioscience and biofuels."

Founded in 1880, Kodak is credited with popularizing photography at the start of the 20th century but began to struggle toward the end of the century, first with Japanese competition and later during the shift from film to digital photography. It filed for bankruptcy in January 2012, emerging with about 8,800 employees, a fraction of the 145,000 it had at its peak in the 1980s.

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