Kodak files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The struggling photography company, which expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection next year, secures $950 million in debtor-in-possession financing from Citigroup.

Struggling photography company Eastman Kodak announced this evening that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company, which hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in 2013, said it has secured $950 million in debtor-in-possession financing from Citigroup that will allow it to keep operating during restructuring. The company has also appointed Dominic DiNapoli, a vice chairman at FTI Consulting, as its chief restructuring officer. The firm has been advising Kodak on its finances since last year.

DiNapoli will have broad powers over the company's finances and operations as it looks for ways to raise funding to keep the company afloat during bankruptcy.

"Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation," Antonio M. Perez, who will continue to serve as Kodak's CEO, said in a statement. "At the same time as we have created our digital business, we have also already effectively exited certain traditional operations, closing 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing labs, and reducing our workforce by 47,000 since 2003. Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core IP assets."

Those IP assets include a war chest of 1,100 digital-imaging patents--crucial to cameras, phones, and other devices--that it is looking to sell. The patents could be useful for companies looking to buy some legal protection.

In a bid to demonstrate some of that patent power, and collect licensing fees, Kodak recently filed lawsuits against smartphone makers HTC and Apple over camera technology. The lawsuits assert that Apple infringed on four Kodak patents and that HTC infringed on five.

Updated at 9:55 p.m. to reflect bankruptcy filing.

 

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