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Apple, Google remain in talks to buy Kodak patents

Kodak has been granted a deadline extension to retain exclusive control of its bankruptcy case through February, as the company continues to hope it will be able to sell off its patent portfolio to a list of potential buyers that include Apple and Google.

Kodak remains in talks with both Apple and Google, as the two companies are still interested in buying Kodak's portfolio after a number of setbacks and delays, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The company said it is "confident" its patents will fetch the $500 million minimum required under the terms of a $793 million loan package.

That deal still requires court approval, but Kodak now has more time to execute the financing offer from Centerbridge Partners, GSO Capital Partners, UBS, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Thanks to an extension from Judge Alan Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Kodak has until Feb. 28 to move forward with its plan. The extension means Kodak will not yet need to deal with competing proposals from creditors.

Kodak plans to be able to repay its creditors and exit bankruptcy through its patent sale. The company expects to emerge from bankruptcy in the first half of 2013 with a new look: a much smaller presence in the consumer business and a larger focus on commercial imaging.

In August, separate investor groups led by Apple and Google made their bids for Kodak's digital imaging patents, but those bids came in well below the company's original estimates of $2.6 billion. Instead, the bids were said to be worth between $150 million and $250 million.

The final hearing for the Kodak sale was originally scheduled to take place in August. But the conclusion of that auction was delayed indefinitely after Kodak had trouble finalizing deals with a large number of hopeful buyers.