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Pohlad family office snaps up majority stake in Polaroid

A majority stake in Polaroid, a brand synonymous with the instant photography market, has been bought by US single family office Pohlad Family Capital Fund for $70 million (€59.3 million).

A majority stake in Polaroid, a brand synomymous with the instant photography market, has been bought by US single family office Pohlad Family Capital Fund for $70 million (€59.3 million).

A federal bankruptcy judge approved the deal last week, according to The Star Tribune, which sees the Pohlad family and an undisclosed partner take a 65% stake.

The announcement just one week after the Pohlad family, which has been associated with financial services for the last 60 years, sold the financial arm of its business portfolio for $182.5 million.

Chief investment officer at Pohlad-owned Marquette Companies Jann Ozzello Wilcox said: “This transaction presents us with the opportunity to capitalise on what we see as a strong, strategic growth opportunity and to contribute to the compelling resurgence of Polaroid.”

“The management team of Polaroid is exceptional and we are pleased to partner with other investors – some new, and some existing – that bring additional expertise beyond our own.”

Pohlad Companies was founded in the 1950s by family patriarch Carl Pohlad, who died in 2009 with an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion, according to the Forbes rich list. The self-made billionaire grew his small financial services firm to an enormous conglomerate with more than 30 businesses in the fields of real estate, entertainment and sport.

Polaroid, on the other hand, filed for bankruptcy in 2001, having failed to adapt to the emerging digital camera market, racking up more than $1 billion in debt in the process. The firm was subsequently restructured by its new owners but once again filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

President and CEO of Polaroid Scott W Hardy said about the transaction: ”We are very excited about this deal and what it means for Polaroid in 2015 and beyond. The addition of these new investors to the ownership group will bring stable family capital to the Polaroid brand over the long-term”.

The camera maker said the transaction marks the next phase in the company’s evolution after a successful five-year effort to re-establish Polaroid as the preeminent brand for instant photography and related consumer electronics.


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