Kodak files for bankruptcy

2012-01-19 14:42
Washington - Eastman Kodak, the pioneering US company which invented the hand-held camera, has filed for bankruptcy protection before a United States court as it seeks to re-organise its finances, the company said on Thursday.

A statement said the move, which would include the sale of non-essential assets - which could include patents - was intended to bolster liquidity in the US and abroad.

"Kodak has taken this step after preliminary discussions with key constituencies and intends to work toward a consensual re-organisation in the best interests of its stakeholders," said chief executive officer Antonio M Perez in a statement.

"Kodak is taking a significant step towards enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation," said Perez. The firm expected to complete its US-based restructuring during 2013.

Kodak has obtained a fully-committed, $950m credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup to enhance liquidity and working capital, said the statement.

The credit facility was subject to court approval and other conditions. The company believes that it has sufficient liquidity to continue operating, and to continue the flow of goods and services to its customers in the ordinary course, it added.

Battle lost

Kodak employs around 19 000 workers, compared with 145 000 during the boom period of the 1980s.

The former blue chip company, which was founded in 1892, dominated film sales for much of the 20th century, and played a role in the life of almost every household.

It had been struggling since the late 1990s, when the spread of digital cameras started to decimate its film business.

"Eastman Kodak's long battle to remake itself for the digital age ended in failure [on] Thursday as the company that was instrumental in turning photography into a popular pastime filed for bankruptcy," commented the Financial Times on Thursday.

- SAPA
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