Kodak to Exit Bankruptcy, Will Emerge as a Commercial Printing Company


It seems we’re entering into the final chapter of the Kodak Bankruptcy epic. After filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January or 2012, the ex-camera company’s final plan to exit bankruptcy received court approval on Monday. What emerges from the ashes, however, will be a company that does zero business with consumers directly.

Unfortunately that’s not a typo. According to a report by Bloomberg, the once-great camera giant will emerge as a commercial printing company that sells nothing to consumers when all is said and done.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper made the call on Monday, approving a plan that cuts some $4.1 billion in debt and leaves behind the Kodak we grew up with. Gropper says the company will be “in many ways a new operation” from now on.

“Kodak is one of the best-known names of American business,” continued Gropper on a more sympathetic note. “Its decline in bankruptcy is a tragedy of American economic life.”

This chart shows just how massive a fall from grace Kodak has suffered. It shows a drop in stock price of 99.77% since July of 2000!

This chart shows just how massive a fall from grace Kodak has suffered. It shows a drop in stock price of 99.77% since July of 2000!

In addition to commercial printing, Kodak will also continue to manufacture touch-screen sensor components for smartphones and computer tablets. The plan also states that the company will continue making film for the movie industry.

On the financial side of things, shareholders get the rawest end of the deal. While secured creditors will be paid in full and unsecured creditors will receive 4 to 5 cents on the dollar (of an estimated $2.2 billion in claims), shareholders will receive nothing.

All negatives aside, Kodak is doing its best to leave bankruptcy with high hopes. The company — which at one point boasted several tens of thousands of employees — will leave bankruptcy with only 8,500 people to its name, but that didn’t stop lawyer Andrew Dietderich from saying that the company will again “be a leader in its chosen field.”

Kodak chairman Antonio M. Perez agrees with Dietderich, saying in a statement that the company will come out of this, “as a technology leader serving large and growing commercial imaging markets […] with a leaner structure and a stronger balance sheet.”

(via PopPhoto)

Image credit: 080809_Kodak_Tower_Logo by DragonFlyEye

  • rz67

    Still not clear about this. How about photographic film? Care to explain, anyone?

  • Burnin Biomass

    I think Kodak reached an agreement to sell the amateur film departments (pro too? I cant remember) earlier in the spring.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    So, they will continue to produce film? That’s cool :)

  • Fernando Callo

    But nobody has bought it yet

  • Fernando Callo

    only for movie industry

  • ohHenry

    Well, Kodak becomes a printing company, says it all.

    And all the times I called my local “Pro” shop nothing more than a glorified graphics print shop rings oooo sooo true from the top of the food chain.

    Told ya so! ( I’ve been dying to say that for years in reference to this)

    And now it rings loud amd clear, there’s no such thing as a “Pro Photog House” anymore. It’s all just graphic arts and printing out posters.

    The true art of “photography” in it’s entire process may finally be deemed an “art” form. And it’s now a special skill so few know let alone can do the process.

    Who’d have thought the 64 might finally win their war. Have to classify it as an art form now… traditional photography that is. Graphic Arts is already classified as such I do believe. .. or is it?

  • Jake

    They had a chance to transition when they were leaders in digital imaging. Such a tragically missed opportunity. No vision amongst leadership. They brought in a CEO that had 25 years in printing with HP who kept pushing toward printing? *facepalm*

  • Zos Xavius

    “Kodak chairman Antonio M. Perez agrees with Dietderich, saying in a statement that the company will come out of this, ‘as a technology leader….'”

    Well that sure will be hard to do with all the technology related patents now sold off and no sensor manufacturing division. A technology leader in printing? Yeah. Good luck with that. A dwindling market is surely not the thing I would want to steer a shinking ship into. Also WTF is going on with their film? Are they just going to stop their lines entirely now if they don’t find a buyer for the film deparment?

  • Dave

    I work at a Hollywood studio and the overflow parking lot is under one of the large abandoned Kodak buildings. There is a rusty door where the studios used to take movie film for fast processing. Shame really.

  • jrconner

    All that remains is the name, the legacy, and at the end, the incompetence and myopia. Kodak had just as much time as it competitors to make a successful transition from film to digital, but it didn’t have the vision and the nimbleness to do it while it still had enough cash to make a successful transition. The shareholders should have pushed harder, but it seems everyone was fat, dumb, and happy thanks to the huge profits from film.

    I’ve shot film just twice since 1999. If I ever need to shoot it again, Fuji’s emulsions will suffice, as will my stocks of T-Max.

    Will the new Kodak succeed as a commercial printer for business? I have my doubts. I think the new Kodak will disappear in a decade.

  • Guest
  • George

    Nice to hear thet Kodak has went out of bankruptcy.
    The UK Kodak Pension Plan has got the rights for Photographic film and paper. AFAIK, they will control the Kodak Harrow plant which makes colour paper and as of film they will still manufacture it in Rochester but the marketing et al is in hands of this UK company. All under the Kodak brand for this products.
    Us photographers will have to wait and see what this UK company will do, they still haven’t said anything.

  • Alan Dove

    “All negatives aside…” I see what you did there.

  • Ralph Hightower