Patent lawsuits won't save Kodak from an overhaul, it seems: as predicted, the photography company just announced that it's filed for bankruptcy. Kodak says it's voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in New York, in order to "bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on its most valuable business lines." It's also tentatively obtained $950 million in debtor-in-possession credit so it can keep operating while it formally goes bankrupt: the company says it expects to keep paying employees, serving customers and honoring obligations for the time being.
When Kodak's talking about "valuable business," of course, it's not really referring to cameras. Chairman Antonio Perez reiterates in the press release that the company's remaining value is in intellectual property, particularly printing technologies and image capture patents. At this rate, though, that IP might get sold off cheaper: rumor had it that the company would file if it was unable to sell off its patents directly.
Kodak's set up a website at www.kodaktransforms.com to discuss the Chapter 11 filing further
, but as of right now the site's asking us for a login and password. It's up now, and you can also find the company's full press release below.
Update: Want to read Kodak's bankruptcy filing for yourself? Here's the full petition in PDF format. According to the filing, Kodak had $5.1 billion in assets and $6.75 billion in debt as of September 30th, 2011. Amusingly, the document references a rather specific claim by Nokia: apparently, the company owes $12 million to the Finnish firm for intellectual property royalties.
Update 2: Kodak's bankruptcy website is live, and the company says it expects to complete US restructuring in 2013.
ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan 19, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Non-U.S. Subsidiaries Are Not Included in U.S. Filing and Are Not Subject to Court Supervision
--Company Secures $950 million in Debtor-in-Possession Financing in U.S.
--Kodak's Reorganization to Facilitate Emergence as Profitable and Sustainable Enterprise
Eastman Kodak Company ("Kodak" or the "Company") announced today that it and its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for chapter 11 business reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
The business reorganization is intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on its most valuable business lines. The Company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in recent years, generating approximately 75% of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011.
Kodak has obtained a fully-committed, $950 million debtor-in-possession credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup to enhance liquidity and working capital. The credit facility is subject to Court approval and other conditions precedent. The Company believes that it has sufficient liquidity to operate its business during chapter 11, and to continue the flow of goods and services to its customers in the ordinary course.
Kodak expects to pay employee wages and benefits and continue customer programs. Subsidiaries outside of the U.S. are not subject to proceedings and will honor all obligations to suppliers, whenever incurred. Kodak and its U.S. subsidiaries will honor all post-petition obligations to suppliers in the ordinary course.
"Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation," said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "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. Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core IP assets. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company."
"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," Mr. Perez continued. "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.
"Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value in two critical parts of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents, which are essential for a wide range of mobile and other consumer electronic devices that capture digital images and have generated over $3 billion of licensing revenues since 2003; and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies, which give Kodak a competitive advantage in our growing digital businesses."
Mr. Perez concluded, "The Board of Directors, the senior management team and I would like to underscore our appreciation for the hard work and loyalty of our employees. Kodak exemplifies a culture of collaboration and innovation. Our employees embody that culture and are essential to our future success."
Kodak has taken this step after preliminary discussions with key constituencies and intends to work toward a consensual reorganization in the best interests of its stakeholders. Kodak expects to complete its U.S.-based restructuring during 2013.
The Company and its Board of Directors are being advised by Lazard, FTI Consulting Inc. and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. In addition, Dominic DiNapoli, Vice Chairman of FTI Consulting, will serve as Chief Restructuring Officer to support the management team as to restructuring matters during the chapter 11 case.
More information about Kodak's Chapter 11 filing is available on the Internet at www.kodaktransforms.com . Information for suppliers and vendors is available at (800) 544-7009 or (585) 724-6100.
Kodak will be filing monthly operating reports with the Bankruptcy Court and also plans to post these monthly operating reports on the Investor Relations section of Kodak.com. The Company will continue to file quarterly and annual reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will also be available in the Investor Relations section of Kodak.com.