Kodak Bankruptcy Exit Plan Approved by U.S. Judge in a Photo Finish

Kodak’s Bankruptcy exit plan was approved by a U.S. judge. Eastman Kodak Co., which used to be one of the premiere photography pioneers, got court approval yesterday for their plan to exit from Kodak bankruptcy and become a smaller digital-imaging company.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper in New York said Kodak’s bankruptcy exit will happen in about two weeks.

Judge Gropper said, "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."

Kodak is based in Rochester, N.Y. For years, Kodak was synonymous with household cameras and family snapshots. Kodak’s bankruptcy was filed in January 2012 when it was weighted down by pension costs and battered by its slow embrace of digital camera technology. Kodak’s bankruptcy was for $6.75 billion.

Not that the court has given its approval, Kodak’s bankruptcy exit is now imminent.

In a statement Kodak Chief Executive Antonio Perez said "Next, we move on to emergence as a technology leader serving large and growing commercial imaging markets." Perez said Kodak’s bankruptcy emergence will force the company to have a leaner structure and a stronger balance sheet.

Kodak sold off assets like its consumer-focused operations. When Kodak’s bankruptcy is over the company will mainly focus on commercial products like high-speed digital printing technology and flexible packaging for consumer goods.

Kodak’s new structure result in a lower public profile for the iconic Kodak name. Kodak’s anticipated revenues are at about half of what was when Kodak filed for bankruptcy, when it was about $2.5 billion.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper said “This comes on a day when many are losing retirement benefits, and many are finding that their recovery as a creditor is just a minute fraction of what their debt is. But I cannot decree a larger payment for creditors or any payment for shareholders if the value is not there."

At a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, Koda’s attorney, Andrew Dietderich, said Kodak’s bankruptcy exit can happen as early as September 3.

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