Update: Kodak exits Chapter 11

By Jo Francis, Wednesday 04 September 2013

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Kodak has successfully emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with chief executive Antonio Perez proclaiming "what's next starts now".

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Perez: Kodak is "revitalised"

The once-mighty photographic and imaging giant went into Chapter 11 in January 2012.

After a complex process it has now completed all the necessary steps for emergence, including exit refinancing and the ratification of the sell-off of its personalised imaging and document imaging business to the Kodak UK Pension Plan.

The ‘new’ Kodak is focused on commercial imaging, with a large part of its operations made up of its commercial printing, digital printing and packaging operations.

In a statement, Perez said: "We have been revitalised by our transformation and restructured to become a formidable competitor – leaner, with a strong capital structure a healthy balance sheet and the industry’s best technology."

Perez will remain in post for up to a year, or until the fresh Kodak board appoints a successor.

According to filings made as part of the emergence process, the firm is optimistic about its future performance, and estimates it will make EBITDA of $200m on sales of $2.6bn next year.

In a press briefing earlier today (4 September) Perez said the new Kodak was "stronger financially, and stronger technically as well", ready to grow free of its legacy costs.

He highlighted four key technologies that he described as being "fundamental for our new portfolio": Stream inkjet, SquareSpot imaging, ColorFlow colour management and its Unified Workflow solutions, with Kodak planning to expand the uses into "key adjacencies".

The Stream high-speed continuous inkjet technology is to be expanded into packaging applications and also into wider formats. Perez said Kodak has already made a 49-inch (124.5cm) print bar and is working on 60-inch version. "Nothing else is even close to the capability of this technology," Perez stated. "It will change the world of printing and the world of deposition forever."

Kodak is poised to announce an OEM deal in the packaging space that harnesses its technology with another manufacturer’s press and industry specific know-how, similar to the OEM deal it currently has with Timsons in the book printing market. 

However, president of digital printing and enterprise Doug Edwards also stated that toner-based products, including NexPress, remained "key" for the business. "These are mature, cash- and earnings-generating businesses for us, and will continue to be so," he said.

Referring to the shift from analogue to digital processes, Perez described printing as a "hybrid industry" and said it would continue to be so for many years to come.

In line with the proposals that preceded its emergence, Kodak again highlighted the three key markets it planned to focus its growth efforts on: the $247bn packaging market, the $455bn graphic communications market, and the $28bn functional printing market – with only a fraction of each market currently being addressed by the company.

Perez said that 80% of revenues now came from the sale of annuities such as ink, media, plates and services. "We have been cautious in our projections but we feel pretty confident about this," he stated.

Unusually, it revealed some of its own market statistics to illustrate the scale of its current operations. These included: 60,000 Prinergy 'seats' worldwide, more than 16,000 CTP systems, an installed base of over 12,000 commercial digital printing devices, 300 Flexcel NX systems and 40bn-plus pages printed using Kodak Prosper inkjet systems.

Kodak now employs 8,500 staff worldwide. Its HQ will remain in the USA, in Rochester.

The separate business now owned by the Kodak UK Pension Plan has been renamed Kodak Alaris.

 

 


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