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Kodak sells patents to repay loan

Eastman Kodak is selling its digital-imaging patents for about $525 million, money the struggling photo pioneer says will help it emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year.

Apple Inc., Google Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Research In Motion Ltd., Microsoft Corp., China’s Huawei Technologies, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are among the 12 companies paying to license the 1,100 patents, according to court filings. Patents have become very valuable to digital device makers, who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits. But Kodak, which has been trying to make the sale happen for more than a year, wound up receiving substantially less money than had been expected.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Eastman Kodak Co. said Wednesday that the patent sale will help it repay a substantial amount of a loan it received under the bankruptcy process. It also satisfies a key condition of a new, cheaper $830 million loan package, which required that the patents be sold for at least $500 million.

Founded in 1880, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after a long struggle to stay relevant.

Real estate firm to get energy-savings rebate

Energizing Indiana and Indiana Michigan Power will present a $108,000 energy-savings rebate check to Coastal Partners, 3405 Meyers Road, during a ceremony today at the company.

Energizing Indiana – a joint effort by utility companies, the state’s utility regulators and consumer advocates – is awarding the rebate because Coastal installed 1,000 high-efficiency motion-sensor lights, which cut the company’s power usage in half. The rebate will pay for the money spent to update the lighting, a spokeswoman said.

Coastal’s Fort Wayne property spans 862,450 square feet and includes four other tenants. Coastal Partners is a real estate development company based in Roseville, Calif. The firm also has locations in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Memphis, Tenn., and Bannockburn, Ill.

US housing starts slowed to 861,000

U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in November after starting work in October at the fastest pace in four years. Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that builders began construction of houses and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 861,000. That was 3 percent less than October’s annual rate of 888,000, the fastest since July 2008.

Still, the decline follows months of strong gains. An encouraging trend was that applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, rose to 899,000 in November, the most since July 2008.

Martha Stewart CEO exits after brief tenure

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced that its CEO is stepping down after less than a year on the job.

The company is now setting out to find a replacement for Lisa Gersh, who will leave the company after an unspecified transition period.

Gersh was hired in May 2011 as president and COO and she replaced Charles Koppelman as CEO in July 2012.

The shake-up comes as the company, founded by lifestyle and home guru Martha Stewart, struggles to boost profits at its publishing and broadcast divisions.

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