In a much anticipated move, Eastman Kodak Company and its U.S. subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection early this morning — January 19, 2012. This is the latest of several steps taken by Kodak since 2003 to reorganize its business, which includes reducing its workforce by 47,000 and closing 13 manufacturing plants.
In addition to announcing its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Kodak also stated that it plans to continue customer programs, pay employee wages and benefits, and honor all post-petition obligations to suppliers. Non-U.S. subsidiaries are not included in this filing and are not subject to court supervision. To ensure working capital during the Chapter 11 proceedings, Kodak obtained a $950 million credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup.
“After considering the advantages of chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak,” Antonio M. Perez, Kodak chairman and CEO, says. “Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value in two critical parts of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents, which are essential for a wide range of mobile and other consumer electronic devices that capture digital images and have generated over $3 billion of licensing revenues since 2003; and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies, which give Kodak a competitive advantage in our growing digital businesses.
To help customers, employees, and suppliers understand how the bankruptcy filing affects them, the company has launched a website: www.kodaktransforms.com