Kodak files for bankruptcy

Jan 19, 2012

Kodak, the 131-year-old photography pioneer, has filed for bankruptcy.

Eastman Kodak announced early this morning that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was “the right thing to do for the future” of the company.

In a statement, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said company leadership decided the move was “a necessary step.”

Kodak also announced it had secured a $950 million line of credit from Citigroup to “enhance liquidity and working capital.”

Kodak will continue to operate as normal as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection.

“Relegated to the past”

Mark Zupan, dean of the business school at the University of Rochester, says there are plenty of positive lessons to draw from Kodak’s storied legacy.

“But the other important lesson is you gotta stay humble and you gotta stay hungry,” says Zupan. “Because if you don’t keep performing, you get relegated to the past.”

Looking ahead

The news doesn’t come out of the blue - bankruptcy rumors had dogged the company for months. But, still, many Rochesterians are waking up today in shock.

Kodak says it will continue to pay its 17,000 workers and honor obligations with suppliers. The company employs fewer than 7,000 in the Rochester area.

Despite the filing, Kodak will hold onto its trove of potentially lucrative digital patents. The company says it will continue to seek buyers for 1,100 patents, which have been on the market since July.