Nearly 20 months after filing, Eastman Kodak has officially emerged from bankruptcy. A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved the company's plan of reorganization, clearing the way for the move.
"What's next starts now."
That's how Kodak CEO Antonio Perez summed up the company's emergence from Bankruptcy.
Kodak's Chapter 11 restructuring began in January 2012 and included eliminating thousands of jobs, selling off real estate and lowering corporate spending. Perez says the new Kodak is a technology company that will focus on packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services.
"The company will end up... this year we'll report about $4 billion in revenue. But the company that will continue after this year will be a smaller company," he said.
With Kodak's emergence comes the sale of its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses to Kodak Pension Plan, based in the United Kingdom. That is all part of the old Kodak. The new Kodak, based in Rochester, is now the leaner technological company.
"There are still maybe 5,000 or 6,000 people in Rochester working for what was part of the old Eastman Kodak. A couple thousand work for the new company, a couple thousand work for the old company in the digital imaging and personalized imaging businesses," said George Conboy, Brighton Securities.
Mayor Tom Richards says now that the bankruptcy process is over, it's time to focus on the new Rochester, which, he says, Kodak will be a part of. However, his main priority is to make sure Eastman Business Park becomes a success.
Richards says that's because Kodak is no longer the player it once was. He says the diversity that already exists at the Business Park and plans to bring more businesses there, will end up being better for the local economy.
"Kodak was a wonderful company for this town, don't get me wrong, and left a legacy here that's been terrific. But it shows you what happens when you're betting on one horse. When technology and other things caught up with them, we took a heck of a shock here. We've survived it. So diversification, particularly in a technologically driven economy is important and that's what Eastman Business Park will be," said Richards, D-Rochester.
The end of bankruptcy means Kodak's stock will be cancelled. Conboy suggests consulting a tax professional to determine the best way to write off that loss.
New Kodak stock is expected to begin trading within a week.