By Claire Reilly
The American branch of Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy today, writing a grim chapter in the history of the Eastman Kodak Company – a camera manufacturer with more than 120 years of in the business.
In a statement released by the company, chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez said “after considering the advantages of chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak.
“Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers.”
Despite the actions in the United States, Current.com.au understands that it is business as usual for the Australian branch of the company.
The statement from Kodak further stipulates that “subsidiaries outside of the U.S. are not subject to proceedings and will honour all obligations to suppliers, whenever incurred.”
Today’s news follows an extended period of financial difficulty for the company. Operating for decades under the slogan “you press the button, we do the rest,” Kodak was long known for its film camera and photo printing businesses. However, with the rise of digital imaging, the company has been forced to adapt to a new world order, shutting down elements of the business that once made it famous.
“At the same time as we have created our digital business, we have also already effectively exited certain traditional operations, closing 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing labs, and reducing our workforce by 47,000 since 2003,” added Perez.
Over the last year alone, Kodak’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange fell from more than $5 to just 55 cents, before voluntarily delisting from the Exchange.