Polaroid's next shot
By Barney Gimbel

(FORTUNE Magazine) – The people at the top cashed out in late April when Polaroid was sold to Minnesota entrepreneur Tom Petters for $426 million. Its former owner, One Equity Partners, walked away with a $188 million profit. Its chairman, Jacques Nasser, took in $12.8 million. Its chief executive, J. Michael Pocock, got $8.5 million. And in a concurrent move unrelated to the sale, Polaroid's retirees each received ... $47 (yes, $47) in lieu of health insurance benefits. But don't think that's the last we'll hear from the storied camera maker. Petters, who owns more than a dozen retailers, from Ubid.com to the Fingerhut catalog, has big plans for his newest purchase. The buried treasure for Petters is not Polaroid's outdated instant cameras and film but the name itself, which he says is still recognized favorably by 75% of consumers, right up there with Nike, Sony, and Disney. For nearly two years Petters has been licensing the famous moniker for Chinese-made DVD players, home theater systems, and flat-panel and plasma-screen TVs. They've been such great sellers at stores like Circuit City, Target, and Best Buy that he says he'll expand the brand to other electronics (last year he also started selling vacuums under the Sunbeam name). Oh, and yeah, they'll still make those famous cameras. Just forget about that other label: "Made in America." -- Barney Gimbel