Kodak Adds To Digital Imaging War Chest

Plans call for Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak to buy all outstanding shares of PracticeWorks for about $500 million in cash. As part of the deal, slated to close by year-end, Kodak also would acquire Paris-based Trophy Radiologie, a manufacturer of dental digital radiography equipment and a PracticeWorks subsidiary.

Kodak said the PracticeWorks deal is expected to add about $215 million to its revenue in the first full year after the acquisition.

>> Kodak expects PracticeWorks to add about $215 million in revenue.

A major player in the dental X-ray film market, Kodak expects the acquisition to give it a broader lineup of dental imaging products and services, ranging from traditional film to digital radiography and photography.

"It could be good for our business [with PracticeWorks] stepping up to a nationally known name," said George Van Wert, president of North Coast Software, an Oswego, N.Y.-based integrator and PracticeWorks partner, about the deal. "PracticeWorks also recently introduced the Trophy product line, which has very good possibilities. And having Kodak back it, support it and so on could be viewed as positive by our customers and potential customers."

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Dental practice management software enables dentists to manage front-office functions such as scheduling, billing and record-keeping, and the technology is evolving to cover treatment planning and delivery, according to Kodak. The company estimates that global sales of dental practice management software will top $200 million annually and grow 8 percent to 10 percent per year. Kodak said it also sees a big market opportunity in the emerging dental digital radiography space, which it projects to reach global sales of up to $120 million annually.

In reporting its second-quarter results last week, Kodak said its health imaging, commercial imaging and digital photography businesses are growing, while sales in its traditional consumer film and processing operations are declining. The company also said it plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs, or 9 percent of its workforce, starting later this year.