Business & Finance

Photo industry icon Kodak files for bankruptcy


Unable to keep up with the surging growth of technology-driven photography industry, erstwhile mighty company and industry pioneer Eastman Kodak decides to throw in the towel and seek bail out help.

Kodak has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday after failing to overturn a huge financial trouble which saw the company’s debts ballooning to $6.75 billion, with the number of its creditors topping over 100,000.

The Bank of New York Mellon leads the pack of Kodak’s creditors, with claims of more than $650 million as trustee for other bondholders. Other top creditors include Nokia, Sony, WalMart, Target, Best Buy, and CVS, Office Max and Disney Studios.

Earlier, the company was thrown a lifeline after obtaining close to a billion dollars financing from Citibank to sustain its operations all throughout the bankruptcy process. The company said in a statement that it has sufficient liquidity to continue operating.

Founded in 1888 by George Eastman in Rochester, N.Y., Kodak evolved to become a leading global brand for films and cameras for several decades until the dawning of digital photography which it ironically pioneered.

For years, Kodak has struggled to keep pace with the growth of digital photography and was unable to eventually evolve from film to fully compete with the digital technology. While it made some innovations to go digital, these were no match to the cutting-edge technology of other industry players.

Its failure to shift to the digital world overturned the company’s business model, bringing down its sales by nearly half between 2005 through 2010. Analysts expect the company to finally close shop in 2012.

Jon Mills

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