Kodak emerges from bankruptcy with new focus

The struggling photography pioneer exits Chapter 11 as a "leaner" company working on digital imaging for businesses.

The bankruptcy cloud that hung over Kodak for the last couple of years has finally lifted.

Eastman Kodak announced Tuesday that it has completely emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a "leaner" reorganized company. Instead of peddling its once-popular film and cameras, Kodak will now focus on digital imaging for businesses.

"We have emerged as a technology company serving imaging for business markets - including packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services," Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement. "We have been revitalized by our transformation and restructured to become a formidable competitor -- leaner, with a strong capital structure, a healthy balance sheet, and the industry's best technology."

The struggling photography pioneer gained court approval for its plan to exit from bankruptcy last month. Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2012, citing $6.75 billion in liabilities and assets of $5.1 billion. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company blamed its decline on high pension costs and consumers' shift to digital imaging.

A stipulation of the $950 million loan Kodak received from Citigroup to stay in business required it to sell off some of its intellectual property. In January, Kodak announced it had sold about 1,100 imaging patents for $527 million to a group of technology companies that included Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Facebook, BlackBerry, and Samsung Electronics.

To complete the last steps in its Chapter 11 restructuring, Kodak had to spin-off its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses to a Kodak Pension Plan and seal an agreement for $695 million in term exit financing.

"We are setting a trajectory for profitable growth," Perez said. "We have the right technology at the right time as printing markets increasingly transition to digital. Our broad portfolio of offset, hybrid and digital solutions enables customers to make the transition at their chosen pace using our breakthrough technology solutions."

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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