Photography pioneer Kodak files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Unable to maintain a steady supply of money from its digital imaging patents, storied photography pioneer Eastman Kodak announced late Wednesday that it is filing for chapter 11 business reorganization and bankruptcy protection.



Kodak said in a press release (via All Things D) that it has submitted its petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Citigroup has agreed to loan the ailing company $950 million to help it shore up capital ahead of the proceedings, though the debtor-in-possession credit facility is subject to court approval.



The 120-year-old photography company said that it "believes that it has sufficient liquidity to operate its business during chapter 11, and to continue the flow of goods and services to its customers in the ordinary course." Employee wages and benefits will still be paid and "customer programs" will continue, according to the release.



Dominic DiNapooli, Vice Chairman of FTI Consulting, has been appointed Chief Restructuring Officer to see Kodak through the reorganization. The company expects to complete its U.S.-based restructuring during 2013. Subsidiaries outside of the U.S. are not subject to proceedings, the release revealed.



“Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation,” said CEO Antonio Perez. “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. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company.”



Perez added that the decision to pursue chapter 11 was a unanimous decision from the company's board of directors and senior management team. According to him, they believe it is a "necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak."



“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,” he continued.



As its bread-and-butter film business disintegrated in recent years, Kodak proved unable to successfully make the leap into the digital era. The company burned through a significant portion of its cash reserves in 2011. Early this month, reports suggested that Kodak was readying a bankruptcy filing after a last-ditch effort to sell off some of its patents fell through. Those patents are expected to now be sold off on auction while Kodak is under bankruptcy protection.



Perez, who headed up HP's printer group before switching to Kodak, had desperately tried to move Kodak into the printing business, but the company failed to gain much traction in the industry.



Kodak then turned to patent licensing to generate income. It succeeded in wringing close to $1 billion dollars from Samsung and LG over an image preview patent and then set its sights on Apple by filing a lawsuit against the iPhone maker with the International Trade Commission. Perez had said that "a lot of money, big money" was at stake in its case against Apple.



Apple, however, put up a fight, winning a preliminary victory early last year. Last December, the ITC announced that it had pushed back the date for a final decision on the case to September 2012. The delay came as a significant blow to Kodak, as some pundits predicted that it might not last until then.



Faced with the prospect of losing against Apple, Kodak then looked to sell off its collection of digital imaging patents in hopes of earning a lump sum of cash instead of royalty payments, but it was unable to close a deal.



Kodak did, however, get off a parting shot at Samsung on Wednesday when it sued the Korean electronics maker just hours before declaring bankruptcy.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
  • Reply 2 of 54
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    I recently had some photos printed at Pro Photo Supply in Portland, Or. They have a Kodak printer that uses a chemical process with the image generated by lasers. I have to say - thanks to the great efforts of the staff - I came out with absolutely stunning prints (11" x 17"), Particularly beautiful were the shots of black friends in Colombia. The dark skin tones are so subtly shaded and warm.



    As a long time photographer I would be saddened if Kodak were to fail to reorganize itself. It would be a real tragedy.



    For now: Thank you Kodak for this and many, many more tools for my art.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    Hey, Kodak already got rid of one of their best products: Kodachrome. Now that was a spectacular product: Kodachrome 25.



    Most of Kodak's current value is in the rapidly declining value of its digital photography portfolio. Kodak really hasn't innovated for years. Kodak is bringing ancient things to the table. Things like the Bayer array (now being actively replaced by newer designs) or the PhotoCD (haven't seen/heard of an operational Kodak PIW for years).
  • Reply 4 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    Hey, Kodak already got rid of one of their best products: Kodachrome.



    Now that was a spectacular product: Kodachrome 25.



    I never knew how to pronounce that. Koda-chrome, Kodac-HHA-rome
  • Reply 5 of 54
    Remember this day, gentlemen: the beginning of the end of film.



    Film may have been on the endangered species list a long time ago, but one of the big three manufacturers has failed to buoy analog with its digital ingenuity. Fuji and Agfa are somehow still alive, god knows why, but the biggest is about to be bought out by a Chinese firm and morphed into a shell of itself. Just watch. It's a sad, sad day.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    SO what happened? Were the Kodak board and the CEO really old old people? Were they so out of touch that they could not even compete and lead the industry? Are they all 90 year old men with a backwards attitude? Really Kodak created the first DSLR camera. The Nikon (Kodak) DCS 100. WHy didn't they work on this technology? What the hell went wrong?
  • Reply 7 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post


    Remember this day, gentlemen: the beginning of the end of film.



    Film may have been on the endangered species list a long time ago, but one of the big three manufacturers has failed to buoy analog with its digital ingenuity. Fuji and Agfa are somehow still alive, god knows why, but the biggest is about to be bought out by a Chinese firm and morphed into a shell of itself. Just watch. It's a sad, sad day.



    Really?



    Did you mourn this much when they put a bullet in 8-track tapes?
  • Reply 8 of 54
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,995member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post


    Remember this day, gentlemen: the beginning of the end of film.



    Film may have been on the endangered species list a long time ago, but one of the big three manufacturers has failed to buoy analog with its digital ingenuity. Fuji and Agfa are somehow still alive, god knows why, but the biggest is about to be bought out by a Chinese firm and morphed into a shell of itself. Just watch. It's a sad, sad day.



    Really? And here I was thinking film was going to make a comeback in 2012 and overtake digital. This is utterly shocking news.



    Seriously, not sure if I'm so sad. Not like nobody could see this coming years ago. Was it also a sad day when casette tapes, VHS, and CRT TVs died off? It's called progress.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I never knew how to pronounce that. Koda-chrome, Kodac-HHA-rome



    Not sure if it matters much anymore.



    Anyhow, I think there was an old song about this. You can refer to that, if you feel like being geriatric about this.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Really?



    Did you mourn this much when they put a bullet in 8-track tapes?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Really? And here I was thinking film was going to make a comeback in 2012 and overtake digital. This is utterly shocking news.



    Seriously, not sure if I'm so sad. Not like nobody could see this coming years ago. Was it also a sad day when casette tapes, VHS, and CRT TVs died off? It's called progress.



    I'm sure if I had spent more than half my life and poured so much energy into perfecting my technique with 8track (horrible metaphor, btw- 8track had neither the quality nor the longevity and dominance that film had, but anyway), I'd mourn it just the same.



    Have some respect, boys. Kodak made photography. Turn down your internet sarcasm for a moment and recognize that a king is dying.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    tkutku Posts: 6member
    Wow, a bit unexpected.



    The film business was going down the drain, the few enthusiasts that still use it are not enough.

    But as they are also making big sensors for middle format cameras and probably also for medical and research companis, thought that would bring enough cash to keep them afloat.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,289member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post






    Quite the historic moment for sure.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,289member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post


    Remember this day, gentlemen: the beginning of the end of film.



    Film may have been on the endangered species list a long time ago, but one of the big three manufacturers has failed to buoy analog with its digital ingenuity. Fuji and Agfa are somehow still alive, god knows why, but the biggest is about to be bought out by a Chinese firm and morphed into a shell of itself. Just watch. It's a sad, sad day.



    I remember playing with an early professional digital camera in the early 1990s and that was when I thought 'this is the beginning of the end of film.' It was 640 x 480 pixels and used a small floppy that had an adapter case to insert in a 3.5 floppy drive. It was SLR and I think it was Sony I think ... my memory is blurry but it cost me about $3,000 including the amazing lens. I bought it on the floor of the MacWorld Show in SF from the booth.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post


    Have some respect, boys. Kodak made photography. Turn down your internet sarcasm for a moment and recognize that a king is dying.



    QFT Kodak made photography availible to the rest of the public. 35mm film enable images from around the world. Before that you have to carry everything on a mule, literally.



    Steve Sasson invented the digital camera at Kodak.





    I have always wonder how Kodak was keeping it self a float over the years. Its still a shock.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    simtubsimtub Posts: 277member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post


    Remember this day, gentlemen: the beginning of the end of film.



    Film may have been on the endangered species list a long time ago, but one of the big three manufacturers has failed to buoy analog with its digital ingenuity. Fuji and Agfa are somehow still alive, god knows why, but the biggest is about to be bought out by a Chinese firm and morphed into a shell of itself. Just watch. It's a sad, sad day.



    Fujifilm are in all kinda of business

    http://www.fujifilmbeauty.com.hk/pro...ft&listall=yes
  • Reply 16 of 54
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,387member
    Quote:



    You pressed a button here, now who's going to do the rest?
  • Reply 17 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robogobo View Post


    Remember this day, gentlemen: the beginning of the end of film.



    Film may have been on the endangered species list a long time ago, but one of the big three manufacturers has failed to buoy analog with its digital ingenuity. Fuji and Agfa are somehow still alive, god knows why, but the biggest is about to be bought out by a Chinese firm and morphed into a shell of itself. Just watch. It's a sad, sad day.





    Film lost out years ago in newspapers to direct-to-plate imaging. Fuji and Agfa supply the newspaper printing industry with aluminium printing plates. That's a big part of their business these days.. albeit a slowly shrinking one.





    Agfa have had no consumer film business for years - they are very successful in the newspaper Computer-To-Plate and pre-press workflow areas however, also medical imaging systems.

    Their main competitor for printing plates is Fuji.



    So Fuji is about to be bought out you say? link?



    I also loved my kodak slide film... big slide-scanning project on the go...!



    RIP Kodak.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    I recently had some photos printed at Pro Photo Supply in Portland, Or. They have a Kodak printer that uses a chemical process with the image generated by lasers. I have to say - thanks to the great efforts of the staff - I came out with absolutely stunning prints (11" x 17"), Particularly beautiful were the shots of black friends in Colombia. The dark skin tones are so subtly shaded and warm.



    As a long time photographer I would be saddened if Kodak were to fail to reorganize itself. It would be a real tragedy.



    For now: Thank you Kodak for this and many, many more tools for my art.



    Pioneers and innovators since the year dot. Here's a test of a Kodachrome two color process in 1922. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_RTnd3Smy8 a treasure from the past.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    It is truly a sad day for all photographers. So many of us came through the School of Photography at RIT, and I can't even begin to list all of the help Kodak has given to RIT from the very beginning of the Mechanics Institute when Kodak gave over $600K as a donation. In todays money, I can't even guess what that would be. I can only hope that something will happen to turn them around before it's too late. Todays digital "photographers" have no idea how important Kodak has been to the creative world. For so many years many galleries and museums wouldn't have photographs hanging up because they could be "manipulated" and were copies. Ansel Adams changed some of that, and he also opened up the worlds eyes to just how beautiful the west really was. I'm not sure but I would bet he used some kind of Kodak film. Maybe Tri-X? Anyway, I just hope they can be saved. Rochester needs them and so does the world.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    I'm afraid the medium and low end camera days are numbered. Phone cameras are going to eat up this market.
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