Kodak emerges from bankruptcy period as refocused company

Kodak has received court approval to emerge from its bankruptcy period as a refocused business.

Leaving its over 100 history in photography behind, Kodak will come out of bankruptcy as a business focused on being a printing specialist.

Once the biggest photography company and the pioneer of using film in cameras, Eastman Kodak will reduce its debt and sell off its film business in favour of printing.

“Kodak is a different company than the one in the popular imagination and very different from the one that filed for bankruptcy”, said Andrew Dietderich, Kodak’s legal representative.

The company filed for bankruptcy in January 2012, pushed out of business by the rise in digital photography.

With the plan approval described as a “critically important milestone” for the company by Kodak’s chairman and CEO Antonio Perez, it seems not all were pleased to hear of the refocused business strategy.

The majority of shareholders approved the plan, but former employees and other people close to Kodak were not supportive of the move to a printing specialism.

“Next, we move on to emergence as a technology leader serving large and growing commercial imaging markets – such as commercial printing, packaging, functional printing and professional services – with a leaner structure and a stronger balance sheet,” added Perez.

The American bankruptcy judge, Allan Gropper, approved the plans in the end though, meaning the company will be trading again in around a fortnight.

“It will be enormously valuable for the company to get out of Chapter 11 and hopefully begin to regain its position in the pantheon of American business,” said Gropper.

Creditors agreed to by 85 per cent of the company’s shares, and the refocused plan will cut around $4.1 billion (£2.6 billion) from Kodak’s debts.

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