Kodak, for decades, symbolized American innovation and technology. For years, they remained a mainstay of manufacturing even when camera production shifted to Asia following the end of World War II. While the company certainly had its struggles, it was ultimately pounded into bankruptcy protection by the invention of the digital camera.
In January 2013, the company was forced to file for Chapter 11 protection. It has worked since then to sell assets and shed unprofitable business lines to reorganize around its commercial-imaging business, which includes digital printers and motion picture film.
Kodak’s final steps in the restructuring effort
Kodak’s final steps in the restructuring effort included spinning off its document- and personal-imaging businesses to its U.K. pension fund. It also closed on an agreement for $695 million in financing, and received $406 million in new equity investments from unsecured creditors.
Following these last steps, a bankruptcy court judged approved Kodak’s move out of protection and today marks the day that it can begin its life anew.
“We have emerged as a technology company serving imaging for business markets — including packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services,” said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “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,” he continued.
“We are setting a trajectory for profitable growth”: Perez
“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.
“We thank our employees for their extraordinary skills and commitment. We thank our suppliers for their dedication. We thank our customers and partners for their loyalty and for inspiring us to create disruptive technologies and breakthrough solutions.”
Kodak may have a viable, if not bright, future
While none of the CEO’s rosiness is a guaranteed path to success, Kodak’s ability to secure over a billion dollars since it sought protection suggest that their are investors out there that still believe in this institution. If they can become half as successful as Harley-Davidson has been since the early 80’s, Kodak may have a viable, if not bright, future.