Eastman Kodak to exit bankruptcy court

Aug. 20, 2013 at 5:46 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Film giant Eastman Kodak, the pride of Rochester, N.Y., agreed Tuesday to bankruptcy-exit approved by a federal judge in New York.

The company confirmed it would go with the plan creditors approved last week, Forbes magazine reported.

Kodak attorney Andrew Dietderich in court almost gave the eulogy for the former version of the company.

Kodak is destined to be "a very different company than the one in the popular imagination and a very different one than the one that filed for bankruptcy," Dietderich said.

During bankruptcy, the company divested itself of its digital imaging patent portfolio, which it sold for $527 million. It also sold its personalized and document imaging business to the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan for $650 million, which allowed it to dismiss a $2.8 billion claim by pensioners.

What's left is the commercial imaging business.

Forbes said Kodak filed for Chapter 11 with $6.75 billion in liabilities and $5.1 billion in assets.

But it leaves bankruptcy, which it plans to exit Sept. 3, as a testament to a failure to keep up with changing technology.

Kodak developed many of the basic patents that created digital photography but failed to cash in on its own innovations.

"The decline and bankruptcy is a tragedy of American economic life," Judge Allan Gropper of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Southern District of New York, said of the company, which was founded in 1888.

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