Kodak reportedly preparing for bankruptcy filing

5 Jan 2012

Kodak is reportedly preparing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing in the next few weeks. The company is attempting to sell some its patent portfolio first to try and avoid this filing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is preparing for the filing in case its attempt to sell some of its patents fail. It is reportedly speaking with banks about US$1bn in financing to keep it operating during bankruptcy proceedings.

The filing may arrive at the end of January or early February, which would see 1,100 patents relisted in a court-supervised bankruptcy auction. It could help Kodak shed its major obligations to retired staff, but the fate of its 19,000-strong workforce would be put into question.

Kodak may also be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange if it doesn’t improve in the next six months, as its shares have traded at less than US$1 for more than 30 days.

The pioneering company has been in business for 131 years, founded by George Eastman. It once sold 90pc of film across the globe, but struggled when the popularity of digital photography rose. It also attempted to move into different areas, such as printers and medical testing, but it was not as successful.

Kodak experienced a third-quarter loss of US$222m, saying it could run out of money within a year unless it could sell its patents or debt.