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Kodak emerges from Chapter 11

Sept. 4, 2013 at 6:16 PM   |   Comments

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Iconic U.S. film company Eastman Kodak Co. announced it had emerged from bankruptcy Wednesday, shedding "significant" costs, its top executive said.

Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez said the company, which is based in Rochester, N.Y., "has been freed up from very significant legacy costs."

That is the major financial difference for the company that filed for bankruptcy in January 2012, Perez said. But he also said, "The only difference I would add is we have created a new company with completely new technologies."

USA Today reported that the emerging company will have a largely new board of directors. As of Wednesday, it had also sold its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging division to a retirement pension plan in Britain, which represented one of the major legacy costs that contributed to the company's decision to file for bankruptcy.

As of Wednesday, Kodak's old stock was canceled. It will be replaced by a fresh issuance of stock that will go to unsecured creditors and parties exercising option rights.

The company has also wiped out a variety of its bonds as it sets itself up as a much smaller company.

Much of what represented the old company, commercial and personal scanners and the film and photographic paper business, as well as the Kodak retail kiosks – are now owned by the British pension fund, which has begun a new company called Kodak Alaris, USA Today reported.

But Perez said bankruptcy was the "right thing to do."

He was given three mandates by the board of directors when he was hired, he said. "One was to restructure film. The other was to create a new company."

The third mandate was to shed the large legacy costs, which required filing for bankruptcy, he said.

"Painful as it was, it was the right thing to do," he said.

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