Cameras


A Majority Shareholder in the Impossible Project Now Owns the Polaroid Brand

May 15, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

On Friday, the consortium of investors and private equity groups that own the Polaroid brand sold the company (PLR IP Holdings) to a Polish investor who happens to be the majority shareholder in the Impossible Project–the company that purchased the last Polaroid film factory.

The Polaroid brand’s new owner is Wiaczeslaw (Slava) Smolokowski, who is described in a release as “a Polish businessman and investor with holdings in the energy, biotech and real estate sectors.”

Mr. Smolokowski is the majority shareholder of The Impossible Project, which purchased the last remaining Polaroid factory in 2008 and continues to manufacture instant film for legacy Polaroid cameras. It is unclear at the moment what Smolokowski intends to do with the two brands, but the move raises the possibility that Impossible could begin creating Polaroid-branded instant film cameras. A spokesperson for Polaroid/PLR IP Holdings declined to comment.

In a statement announcing the move, a spokesperson for Smolokowski said the new ownership team plans to retain Polaroid’s employees and headquarters in Minnesota. “We are very pleased that this strategic transaction unites the Polaroid brand with its heritage – a move that’s exciting for both the buyer and the Twin Cities-based Polaroid team,” said Jann Ozzello Wilcox, chief investment officer for the Pohlad organization in a statement. “It was important to us that the headquarters remain here, and that management and the employees not only retain, but expand their roles with the new owner’s exciting plans for the brand’s future.”

Since selling its IP and branding rights to PLR IP Holdings, the Polaroid name has appeared on a range of consumer electronics. Meanwhile, the Impossible Project has not only revived Polaroid instant film but has branched out into its own instant camera hardware.