Skip to main content

Polaroid snapped up by Polish businessman, but its future remains in Minnesota

A Pole has bought Polaroid from the Pohlads.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

There's a new face in charge at Polaroid. The instant camera giant has been snapped up by a Polish businessman.

The Minnetonka-based company, which was bought for $70 million in late 2014 by a group of investors led by the Pohlad Family, has been sold to a group headed up by Slava Smolokowski, it was confirmed in a press release Monday.

Yes, a Pole bought Polaroid from the Pohlads. Quite a tongue-twister.

While buyouts often create uncertainty among employees, the Pohlad organization believes it is leaving Polaroid in the right hands. CIO Jann Ozzello Wilcox said in the announcement the purchase means the company will stay in Minnesota and workers will see their roles "expanded."

(Disclaimer: GoMN is owned by the Pohlad Companies)

After declaring bankruptcy in 2001 and 2008, the revamped Polaroid – which is 80 years old this year – has been enjoying a resurgence, with products including its stylish Snap instant digital camera and Cube HD camera proving a big hit with consumers.

It now has more than 100 products in more than 100,000 retail stores across the world.

Where is Polaroid headed?

But Smolokowski's purchase isn't an opportunistic one. He's buying a company in which he has a genuine, vested interest, as the largest shareholder and CEO of The Impossible Project.

The Impossible Project is a Dutch company that manufactures instant cameras and instant camera film. It was founded in 2008 to make film for Polaroid 600 cameras after Polaroid announced it would stop producing the film itself. The Impossible Project even bought Polaroid's production equipment and last remaining factory to achieve this.

In 2012, it expanded to start recreating classic Polaroid cameras for sale, and released its own analog instant camera, the I-1, last year.

Smolokowski was made CEO in December 2014 and just over three years later, bought the company that inspired the creation of The Impossible Project.

Judging by his Twitter feed, you can see Smolokowski is a huge fan of the instant print format.

Next Up

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.

line 3 enbridge portage lake hubbard county mn tony webster flickr

Months after missing deadline, Enbridge says Line 3 aquifer breach is fixed

The company told Bring Me The News it "successfully stopped the flow of groundwater" at the site.

canada bodies found

Baby, teenager among 4 found dead along MN, Canada border

Authorities believe all four froze to death.

unsplash roller rink skates CROP

Former roller rink, tennis courts will become new sports hub

The Wooddale Fun Zone has been closed since spring of 2020.

hibachi daruma

Popular hibachi food truck opens second Twin Cities restaurant

The much-anticipated Daruma opens for takeout Thursday evening.

20211128_Vikings_49ers_REG12_0144 (1)

What changes are coming to the Vikings' offensive line?

Once again, Minnesota has work to do to figure out its interior spots

Kris Ehresmann

One of Minnesota's key COVID-19 leaders is retiring

Kris Ehresmann has given more than 30 years of her life to public health in Minnesota.

summit beach park orono

Plan to develop Orono park on hold after Daytons object

The Dayton family donated the land to the city for the park in the 1970s.

covid nurse doctor hospital wikimedia commons

Child from Twin Cities, school staff member die from COVID

Both deaths were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health Thursday.

snow

3 clippers will deliver snow to Minnesota through Tuesday

Clippers move through Friday night, Saturday night and again Monday.

Related

Tech giants are gearing up to fight 'right to repair' bills

Fair repair laws mean tech manufacturers must sell repair equipment and instructions to independent companies and customers.

Amazon reportedly considering more advertising on its Alexa-driven Echo devices

Echos are largely ad-free right now, but that could be about to change.

A hoverboard is being blamed for a house fire that killed 4 dogs

A hoverboard is being blamed for causing a house fire that injured a woman and killed four dogs.

TV star who bought Gander Mountain is tweeting about future of remaining stores

He said an update on the 9 remaining Minnesota stores is "coming soon."

Spectacles give Wild fans an up close Snap of the action

Team staff wore Spectacles to give fans an insider's view of the Wild

Spectacles give Wild fans an up close Snap of the action

Team staff wore Spectacles to give fans an insider's view of the Wild