Eastman Kodak will emerge from bankruptcy in September as a commercial printing company, having no involvement with photography or consumers – the two spheres in which the Kodak brand maintains considerable cachet.
However, the owners of what is left of the Kodak consumer division, the Kodak UK Pension Plan, continues to manufacture and distribute Kodak paper and chemistry, and it is ‘business as usual’ for all-important supplies to the Australian and New Zealand markets.
‘Rest assured – it’s certainly “business as usual” for IPS and its customers- with good local stock levels of Kodak Professional and Consumer products in our warehouses, and more on its way,’ said IPS managing director, Stuart Holmes.
The Personalized and Document Imaging business, responsible for photographic paper and chemistry manufacture, Kodak APEX dye sub minilab systems and kiosks and other photographic products, was acquired by the Kodak UK Pension Plan in April.
Eastman Kodak has managed to shed over $4 billion of debt via the Chapter 11 route. US pensioners will lose retirement benefits and shareholders will get nothing in the bankruptcy settlement, according to a Bloomberg report. Unsecured creditors with estimated claims of as much as US$2.2 billion will be paid 4 cents to 5 cents on the dollar. Secured claims will be paid in full.
‘Kodak is one of the best-known names of American business,’ US Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper said. ‘Its decline in bankruptcy is a tragedy of American economic life. I’ve reviewed dozens of letters from Kodak shareholders asking how the company in which they invested fell so far.
‘This is on a day when many are losing retirement benefits, when many are finding that their recovery as a creditor is just a minute fraction’ [of what they were owed], he ruefully noted.