Kodak Emerges From Chapter 11 As A Reorganized Company – So What’s Next?
Founded by George Eastman in 1880, Kodak introuced the Brownie camera and dominated the photography marketplace for more than a hundred years. But with the rise of digital technology, the company lacked a forward thinking approach and were unable to keep up with overseas digital camera manufacturers.
If you hadn’t heard the news, Kodak just announced that they have emerged from Chapter 11 as a reorganized company, following the final steps of their restructuring.
From Kodak Chairman and CEO, Antonio M. Perez, “We have emerged as a technology company serving imaging for business markets – including packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services,” he said in a press release. “We have been revitalized by our transformation and restructured to become a formdiable competitor – leaner, with a strong capital structure, a healthy balance sheet, and the industry’s best technology.”
In Kodak’s restructuring, they spun off its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses to their Pension Plan. They also closed on its agreement for $695 million in term exit financing, paid off some lenders and received $406 million of new equity investments from participating unsecured creditors
So what does this mean?
With this restructuring – and as expected – it looks as if the once mighty Kodak will no longer sell products to consumers and will primarily become a printer company.
But luckily for a few filmmakers, Kodak will still be selling motion picture film. (I can almost hear directors Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Quentin Tarantino thanking their lucky stars.) But for the other 99% of us, does the news really matter? With the digital cinema rollout steamrolling its way into your local multiplex and indie filmmakers moving online, I can’t imagine how robust the 35mm film business will be in the near future. And although I still believe film to be the gold standard in image quality, it’s obviously an uphill battle that they will ever return to even a fraction of its former glory.