Monday, June 28, 2010

"I still have 15,000 [more] photos to liquidate"

Meant to mention before the weekend that the Polaroid Collection sale went forward last week at Sotheby's, and brought in about $10 million. The Minneapolis Star Tribune explained the legal context:

"Few even knew the collection was part of Polaroid Corp. [Tom] Petters bought the instant photo icon for $426 million in 2005 .... The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2008, months after Petters was arrested, and the artwork popped up as a surprise asset. The bankruptcy later changed to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

"Polaroid itself was sold off last year ... for $85.9 million. That company ... is now called simply Polaroid and uses the Polaroid brand.

"But the buyers excluded the art collection, along with some other assets.

"Orphaned, the photographs remained with Polaroid Corp., which is being liquidated and was renamed PBE Corp. so it wouldn't be confused with the Polaroid brand company.

"A small group of artists led by a retired judge in Oklahoma named Samuel Joyner opposed selling Polaroid's collection .... The group had several discussions with bankruptcy officials but didn't file a motion and the sale went forward ....

"Petters was sentenced to 50 years in prison for running a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme."