Struggling camera and film giant files for bankruptcy protection; further closures and redundancies possible.
The Eastman Kodak Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the iconic camera and film company failed to sell its catalogue of digital imaging patents last year or find a buyer to stem its cash deficit.
The company has secured $950 million in financing from Citigroup Inc. to help keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings.
Kodak employs 19,000 workers whose jobs may be affected by the bankruptcy across its businesses, which include the visual effects post-production facility Cinesite in Los Angeles and London and also LaserPacific in LA. Kodak also owns the film storage company Pro-Tek Media Preservation Services in Burbank, California.
The bankruptcy is not expected to affect the Cinesite office in London, according to a Cinesite spokesperson.
Kodak’s business has struggled in recent years as it has failed to keep up with its competitors in the digital film and camera industry. Since 2003 it has closed 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing laboratories, and cut its workforce by 47,000.
The company’s motion picture film emulsions (negative, intermediate and print stock) business is one of three main divisions within the company which also specialises in consumer services and products.
The storied, 131-year-old company is credited with creating the world’s first digital camera in 1975.