Kodak moments just a memory as company exits bankruptcy

  • Article by: BETH JINKS , Bloomberg News
  • Updated: September 3, 2013 - 8:16 PM

It’s a different company, focused on the corporate market, not consumers.

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Todd Griffin, a Kodak print head engineer, made a demo print with a high-speed drum at Kodak’s research labs in Rochester, N.Y. The print will be used to investigate the quality of new ink sets.

Photo: Heather Ainsworth • Associated Press,

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– Eastman Kodak Co., the photography pioneer overcome by digital competition, emerged from bankruptcy Tuesday as a commercial-printing company that sells nothing to consumers.

The new, smaller Kodak has shed the cameras, film sales and consumer photo developing that made it a household name, focusing on printing technology for corporate customers, touch-screen sensor components for smartphones and computer tablets, and film for the movie industry. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper last month approved Kodak’s exit plan, which cut about $4.1 billion of debt and left shareholders empty-handed.

Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., filed for bankruptcy in January 2012 after earlier spending $3.4 billion to shrink and restructure. Businesses including photographic film and digital patents, consumer-printing products, photo kiosks, online picture-sharing and document scanners were sold during the bankruptcy or spun off to settle pension claims. The commercial-printing businesses will continue making presses and technology to print documents, publications and product packaging.

“This is a totally new company,” Antonio Perez, Kodak’s chairman and chief executive, said in an interview. “When we created the new portfolio we were very aware of the fact that we were going to be late coming into this market. The only way that you could be successful coming in late is to come into the market with breakthrough technologies and very differentiated value propositions, and this is what we have.”

The new Kodak — excluding units that have been sold or spun off — will report about $2.5 billion in revenue in 2013, Perez forecast. It will have $167 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, he said.

The Kodak brand remains “very valuable” in the imaging industry and will remain lucrative through licensing deals, Perez said.

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