back to article Shareholders rage over Imation's incredible 88% plunge

How do you build a $226m company? Start with a $2bn one. This joke could apply to Imation, which could go the way of Kodak and turn shareholder value into dross, because its management, facing declining sales of old technology, is late to respond and now buying bum companies with crappy prospects. That's the view implied by …


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  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Share cap < just the *cash* in the bank.

    And someone hasn't started raising funds for a bit of asset stripping *already*?

  2. Arctic fox

    It is a regular horror story. However we know what is likely to happen...........

    .............they'll still get their golden goodbyes, there will be absolutely no question of sacking them without compensation (which is what would happen in equivalent circumstances to us mere mortals) and they will probably be employed by another company in the future. The "Managerati" look after their own - because they all know that it might/will be their turn at some time in the future.

  3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    A few things. Firstly wtf is this doing here? a long ramble about finances; this should be in some pink newspaper or something. This should be 1 page at most.

    secondly, Imation is what is left of 3M selling some good money making business divisions. Now while 3M carried on with R&D, Imation just carried on selling, until the point that what they were selling was old. Their failure was to stop looking forward.

    As for RDX, I'd love to use it, but it's a standard laptop drive in a silicon sleve selling for how much money? All the crap they say about the drives being rugged apply to normal laptop drives too; it's just a fancy case but priced far, far too high.

    1. graeme leggett

      In fairness to RDX

      The starting price for a setup is much lower. one drive + "drive-box-on-a-usb-lead" is only a couple of hundred quid. Compare that to paying best part of a grand for a Tape drive a few years back. Then again it's more expensive to take a data copy out of rotation cycle and into archive - £100 drive against £20 tape.

      And adding RDX didn't need a SCSI adaptor, though with the paucity of USB ports on HP's server offerings a USB hub was needed. (slight digression - what on earth is the point of 4 network ports on an entry level server? genuine question).

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: In fairness to RDX

        ".....what on earth is the point of 4 network ports on an entry level server?....." If you mean the DL380 rack servers, I did ask hp the same question. Apparently, hp did some looking at what the average 2-socket server was used for and decided a lot of it needed more than two NICs, so they went for two dual-port NICs onboard. This was extra amusing as out VMware team actually asked the hp reps if there was any chance of an hp rack server with eight onboard NIC ports!

        1. Ragarath Silver badge

          Add a card

          If you want 8 ports, add a card. Geeze what is up with people today?

  4. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Imation — disposable media

    If the article is correct, then Imation is following the path of its products.

    They were very useful and much sought after a few years ago and they served one's small storage needs well. Now the years-old CDs are not needed no more and it gets thrown in the bin or shredder.

  5. b166er

    So some shareholders got shafted, boo fucking hoo.

    We're always getting shafted, welcome to the party, pal.

    1. Drew V.

      Indeed. Usually it's people who don't own any shares that get shafted.

  6. Andy Enderby 1

    letters and numbers

    What would it take to get Imation moving again? Sack the board for gross misconduct - ie sabotaging Imation for their own short term benefit ?

  7. Brian Mankin


    I used to think that monopolies were really dangerous things because they allow the monopolist to fix the price for goods and services in their particular market. But even if someone does achieve a monopoly in a given market, competition still exists in the form of everything else that their potential customers could be doing instead of using the monopolists goods and services. And that is what has killed Imation. They had market dominance in one market but all their customers found solutions to their problems in another, better served one.

  8. Mage Silver badge


    No chance. They needed to innovate 6 years ago and make something else. The Dogs in the street could see this coming.

    The stupid Rebranding to Imation never did them a favour either.

    The day a Mac with no floppy was shipped should have been last call.

    When Netbooks started shipping with no optical drive at all, then they were doomed already.

    It's just an animated corpse now. Trying to invent themselves as a "brand" to sell others products was stupid. Especially with daft rebranding to Imation.

    Everyone I know always said it reminded them of Imitation.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge


      " Trying to invent themselves as a "brand" to sell others products was stupid."

      Since I always thought of them as sellers of run-of-the-mill over priced products their name is not something I would want to pay for.

    2. Tom 13

      Yeah, that's what they teach you about monopolies in school.

      What they don't teach you is that the only way to gain a monopoly is with government intervention. If there is no government intervention, either exactly what you observed happens, or direct competition arises.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they could sell themselves to EMC?

    EMC seem to like buying companies.

    They even bought Iomega (wtf?).

    I mention this in part because I've just been in the loft and found a Zip drive, 100MB, parallel only.

    People are still trying to flog these things on A Well Known Auction site. Wtf (again)?

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Who *owns* this company?

    Somewhere along the line it seems that many US & UK managers forgot they are usually the companies highest paid *employees*. Putting Conrad Black in jail was a good start to reversing this view but I thing a few more could have done with checking into one of Uncle Sam hotels.

    The *owners* are the people holding the stocks. However they seem to be mostly *corporate* investors, IE pension funds.

    I can only presume that the stock pays out a good dividend, otherwise what excuse would they have for not trying to get the Board replaced?

    The *only* part of the market which does seem to be working is *repeated* lousy results -> louse stock price, which suggest the market as a whole is not stupid enough to buy into this mess.

    Shareholders have rights but it is up to them to *exercise* those rights.

  11. Robert E A Harvey

    At the end of the road I grew up on is an old Victorian building, now turned into flats.

    At one time it was the country's largest manufacturer of blackboard chalk, and later produced yellow acrylic lenses for driving goggles.

    Things change, this happens. Have you tried to buy a Gasogene lately?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thing / Think

    I don't know how can you get those two words confused?

    Lots of people seem to do it - but K is nowhere near G on the keyboard...

    Do they really not know which one to use?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's in a name? Sod all usually...

    "In 2006 Imation was riding high, selling millions of optical disks, floppy disks and tape cartridges that it made in its own factories. Now it is basically a brand operation shell"

    Yeah, that was basically my impression of the company in recent years- its primary focus seemed to be acquiring famous "names" like Memorex and TDK (*) to use on discs that it probably didn't even make itself. (I suspect they just do what most "brand" discs do- i.e. get the same uber-bulk CMC mediocrities or whatever and rebrand them).

    The Wikipedia article pretty much confirms this. "The company originally consisted of former 3M divisions involved in the design, manufacture and sales of data storage, medical imaging, printing, photographic film, optical and specialty paper products. Imation has since sold all but its core data storage media products business."

    Sounds like a typical case of management hollowing out and selling off anything that made the company notable in the first place for short term gain, in favour of acquisition and brand-focused mediocrity that is now coming to (non-) fruition. Blah.

    Anyway, in my experience, the market for optical discs has noticeably declined in the past few years. Recordable Blu-Ray hasn't taken over the mass market in the way that DVD+/-R did, and has probably missed the boat by now.

    (*) TDK still exists, but Imation bought a long-term license on their name for consumer media products. (Even before this IIRC TDK's optical discs weren't made by them.) If you're the type that would buy TDK because of their association with quality in the cassette days, don't waste your time- Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden are about the only worthwhile or meaningful disc brands.

    1. Old Hand Lark

      Lets get real!

      Hey, lets not throw Russamano under the bus! TDK is a great brand name! As was Kodak! And RCA, come on, even Memorex has some equity at a point in time. All of you are missing the overall point-XtremeMac was a huge and viable opportunity, along the lines of flexible media, ie "stretched" media (and, no, I am not addressing floppy disks) and data cassettes. But I digress, comparing Remington and shavers is like comparing beta video to cassette tape-are you with me here? Because I have a point-USB an RDX are todays equivalent of round reel tape and disk packs. And if you don't know what I am speaking of here, well, I think you should be aware that, even to this day, the remnants of the great New England companies, Digital Equipment, Wang, and Data General, are still somewhat in the hunt, and they are still, god bless them, buying into round reel tape, single disk cartridges, and 4mm backup tape. What goes around comes around, so to speak, a nice metaphor for technology that many thought was dead.

      1. Old Hand Lark

        Curt Koefod

        Well, the more I think about things, the more I think Curt Koefod would not have put up with this bull shit! A man among boys! He would have kicked some serious ass and not allowed any competative brands, such as, my god, Memorex? enter the empire of what once was "Mother M". Anyone remember "stiction"? If you do, well you are a tape connissour (spelling?) but remember, not once was there an...................." incident of stiction with 3M tape, well Blackwatch anyway".....take that to your RDX ranch. In the meantime, may he rest in peace, a great man that gave me some opportunity with "The Mining" that has provided me with many fond memories, including Super Disk, I still cannot figure why that did not work, other than it may have been, say, 3 years late and no one wanted it; anyway, did you know that the 1960 census was recorded on 3M tape, which was "batch" tested? Well there you go, a little history lesson for all of you. And, for what its worth, we didn't need "ports" in those days-suck it up and lets move on from all the Russamano, etc stufff. Lets all retreat to Wonewok!!!!!!!!!! The Old Hand Lark

      2. Kella

        The Delrin Sleeve

        Comparing Remington and Shavers is like comparing Delrin and Polyvinylchloride.....but I digress. Innovation (laboratories and co-development work), the ability to create a great story (marketing) and tell it (sales) exited Imation with the "higher priced" 3M talent.

        Leadership from the "front of the boat" left with Monahan. And the the brands that Imation took over............just goes to show that a brand is only as good as the people behind it.

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