Kodak Lives! Company Will Likely Be out of Bankruptcy in 2013
Kodak has been making motion picture film since the beginning of cinema, but earlier in 2012 it looked like the company was on its last legs. Fuji also announced last year that it would no longer be making motion picture at all, so 2012 very well could have been the end of celluloid as we knew it. But Kodak isn’t throwing in the towel yet, as a court decision has approved $844 million in financing from multiple deals and sources in order to emerge from bankruptcy sometime this year.
Here is a bit from their press release on the matter:
This financing, which authorizes Kodak to borrow up to $844 million, strengthens Kodak’s position to successfully execute its remaining reorganization objectives, finalize its Plan of Reorganization, and emerge from Chapter 11 in mid-2013.
“Taken together, these accomplishments, along with other recent developments, such as the resolution of certain of our legacy liabilities, demonstrate the tangible and meaningful progress Kodak is making as it moves through the final phase of its restructuring.”
“The Court’s approval of this financing commitment puts Kodak in a strong position to emerge from Chapter 11. This agreement, in conjunction with the recently approved sale and licensing of our digital imaging patent portfolio, lays the financial foundation for our Plan of Reorganization and a successful emergence from Chapter 11 as a profitable and sustainable company,” said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Taken together, these accomplishments, along with other recent developments, such as the resolution of certain of our legacy liabilities, demonstrate the tangible and meaningful progress Kodak is making as it moves through the final phase of its restructuring.”
The company isn’t quite out of the woods yet, everything else still has to fall into place, but it does mean they should be finishing their restructuring in 2013. Film may have a much smaller piece of the filmmaking pie, but it’s still being used on many major projects, and now that all signs are pointing towards the company going back to business as usual (for the parts of their organization that they still own), you don’t have to start buying up and freezing a truckload of Kodak stock just yet.
We’ll just have to wait and see if they can emerge as a stronger company in 2013, but there is no question they are still in major debt — though they should be in a much better position to manage this debt. 2013 could be a huge transition year for film, and while I don’t know how celluloid fits into their business plan, I would hope after this last bankruptcy that they have an exit strategy for that part of their business, too.
What do you think of all of this? What do you think Kodak’s role should be in the filmmaking world?