When Eastman Kodak (OTC: EKDKQ.PK) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, the photo veteran needed to find cash and cut costs -- fast. One of its first actions was to cancel the sponsoring relationship with the Kodak Theatre, where the Academy Awards are held every year. The company signed a 20-year deal when the venue was built to pay $75 million in installments, and that was 12 years ago.
So that move removed something like $30 million of liabilities from Kodak's balance sheet. Seen another way, the sponsorship was worth about $3.8 million a year. And the venue's owners, an arm of privately held private equity firm Orchard Capital, would love to slap a new name on the marquee sign and collect some cash for that privilege.
According to Bloomberg, Dolby Laboratories
I could easily imagine a few other movie-related companies getting into the bidding here, though. Forget the studios, because hosting the Oscars in the Walt Disney Arena might look like favoritism. No, more realistic choices would include huge-screen projectionist IMAX
RealD and IMAX are also looking for major growth while Dolby is more into maintaining its already huge footprint. That's why a bigger bid from a smaller player might make sense. And on that note, shouldn't Netflix
Tom and David Gardner have crushed the market for a decade in the Stock Advisor newsletter service. One of the potential Kodak Theatre sponsors mentioned here is one of the core stocks on both sides of that scorecard right now. Grab a free 30-day trial pass to Stock Advisor to find out which one -- the answer might surprise you!
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dolby Laboratories, Walt Disney, Netflix, and IMAX. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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