Patriarch Wins Polaroid Auction

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York-based private equity firm Patriarch Partners LLC won the auction for bankrupt Polaroid Corp’s assets, both companies said on Thursday, with Patriarch winning over three rival bidders.

The result of the auction, which ended on Tuesday, is subject to court approval at an April 6 hearing. The assets Patriarch is buying include the company’s name, intellectual property, and photography collection.

It beat bids from PHC Acquisitions, Hilco Consumer Capital Corp and Ritchie Capital.

Patriarch’s bid totaled $59.1 million, the company said.

“We look forward to reconnecting Polaroid with its history of innovation in photography,” Lynn Tilton, chief executive of Patriarch Partners said in a statement.

“We intend to continue rebuilding the brand of this great American company on a worldwide scale and to re-establish Polaroid as a globally acknowledged innovator.”

In the same statement, Polaroid Chief Executive Mary Jeffries referenced Patriarch’s turnaround expertise.

“Patriarch Partners has the vision and the resources to act on the myriad opportunities to leverage this iconic brand,” Jeffries said.

The instant camera-maker had agreed in January to sell almost all of its assets to PHC Acquisitions, an affiliate of Luxembourg-based private equity firm Genii Capital, for $42 million, plus the assumption of certain liabilities, if no higher bids emerged.

PHC Acquisitions, was the “stalking horse” or leading bidder. The stalking horse bid is typically used in bankruptcy auctions to set a floor for the bidding.

Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in December 2008.

Patriarch’s portfolio of companies includes Rand McNally, Arizona Iced Tea and MD Helicopters.

A court hearing to approve the sale is set for April 6 in federal bankruptcy court.

The case is In re: Polaroid Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota, No. 08-46617.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba, with additional reporting by Caroline Humer and Emily Chasan; editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Carol Bishopric)