Polaroid Inc. Decision Case Study: Darden Business Scholl Case

Essay by student.scholarUniversity, Master'sA+, May 2006

download word file, 8 pages 4.3

The Polaroid Corporation is a photographic equipment & supply company based in Massachusetts. It was founded in 1937 by a college dropout who wanted to follow his ideas of the polarization of light. By 1948 Polaroid had a strong presence in their market with the integration of the instant camera. This product revolutionized the photography and many would argue it changed a lot of aspects of society at the time. The next forty years, Polaroid's sales grew from $142,000 to $1 billion mostly on the significance of instant photography. With the firm's sales exceeding $1 billion, Polaroid was well on it's way to becoming the leader in their market with many patents on their products. But market trends started to lean towards cheaper products, leading Polaroid to venture into new projects such as copiers and movie cameras and films, which neither turned out well for Polaroid. By 1980, Polaroid was looking for new direction to improve their performance.

In the late 80's Polaroid was experiencing some financial difficulties with takeover prospects eyeing the company. But in 1986, Polaroid was awarded $900 million in a patent judgment. Trying to avoid a takeover with no real substantial shareholder to bail them out, Polaroid decided to launch a leveraged recapitalization which substantially increased their debt to equity ratio from 0 to 56. They then proceeded to gradually repurchase shares to balance their capital structure to 42. In the 10 years since the leveraged recap, Polaroid's share price had slowed and their adjusted growth rate was virtually 0. Operations profits were declining since Polaroid was having difficulty creating a new product which they so heavily relied on in the past. Their strength was in instant photography, but the market going into the digital aspect of photography, thus creating more competition. In 1995 once again...