Pohlad family buys majority stake in Polaroid for $70m


Minnesota's Pohlad family has taken over Polaroid, spending $70 million to acquire a majority stake in the iconic camera maker.

The Star Tribune reports that the family's investment arm has struck a deal that will give it ownership of the company and the right to license its name to manufacturers.

"We are doing this for three reason," Jann Ozzello Wilcox, chief investment officer of Marquette Companies, which is owned by Pohlad, told the Star Tribune.

"First, we continue to seek good, strategic growth opportunities; second, we see Polaroid as an iconic brand with a licensing model that's working, and third, it's a local company with solid management team."

The move comes just over a week after the family ended its involvement in the banking business, selling its banking arm for $182.5 million, according to Finance and Commerce.

Minnetonka-based Polaroid has endured a tumultuous time in the face of the boom in digital photography, filing for bankruptcy twice and being rescued twice in recent years, according to the Pioneer Press.

The newspaper notes that the company now employs only a fraction of the number it did in its "instant-photo" era, describing it as the Apple of its time.

The company was infamously owned by Tom Petters, the Wayzata businessman who was jailed for 50 years for running a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, the Daily Telegraph notes.

The Pohlad family is one of the four richest in Minnesota, the Star Tribune says, and is best known for its ownership of the Twins baseball team.

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