Kodak files for bancrupcy protection, SA stores not affected

Eastman Kodak Co, which invented the hand-held camera and helped bring the world the first pictures from the moon, has filed for bankruptcy protection, capping a prolonged plunge for one of America’s best-known companies.

However, according to a statement released by Kodak, their non-US subsidiaries, which include South Africa, are not affected by the move and will continue to honour all obligations to their suppliers.

The more than 130-year-old photographic film pioneer, which had tried to restructure to become a seller of consumer products like cameras, said it had also obtained a $950 million (in excess of R8 billion), 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to keep it going.

“The board of directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak,” Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio Perez said in a statement.

“Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core intellectual-property assets. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company,” he added.

At end September, the group had total assets of $5.1 billion and liabilities of $6.75 billion.

Kodak said it and its US subsidiaries had filed for Chapter 11 business reorganisation in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.