by JOE BABAR Staff Writer
The well-known camera company, Kodak, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy recently in Los Angeles because of the company’s $6.75 billion dollars in debt. Kodak will try to restructure their company by paying off all of their debts and by advancing their company to a more technologically advanced era. Also, Citigroup is also trying to help Kodak restructure by giving them an 18-month, $950 million credit facility. “Kodak’s restructuring will probably be longer than most because the company will face intensive negotiations with its many creditors,” said Ken Russak, a partner with the Los Angeles bankruptcy law firm. Kodak is the most recent incident of technological companies, falling behind in technology. Kodak has been trying hard to incorporate digital cameras, but they are having some difficulties. Kodak explains that once they overcome this problem they will be right back on the road to success. With over 7,000 jobs at stake, Kodak is attempting to get out of their $6.75 billion dollar debt. They are mainly focusing on making a profit off their printers, which seems to be the only profit maker in the company. The company’s stock used to be selling each stock at $20 a share, but now the stocks are lucky to get 30 cents a share. The stocks have receded a great amount of money. Kodak brought in current Chief Executive Antonio M. Perez less than a decade ago to try to help get Kodak out of its debt and get the company right back on the road to success. “Bankruptcy is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak,” explained Perez. To raise cash, Kodak said, it filed lawsuits against technology firms such as Samsung, Fujifilm, and Apple. In a court filing, Kodak argued that Apple, the BlackBerry device Research in Motion and HTC of Taiwan owed the company “substantial royalties” for the use of its patents of Kodak’s same camera mode of Super 8 in their smartphones. Researching licensing agreements with these companies, as Kodak has done with Motorola and LG, could reap substantial fees. Kodak’s bankruptcy is very similar to the bankruptcy of the camera company, Polaroid. Polaroid also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 because their technology was not up to date just as Kodak. As soon as the company became more technologically advanced they restructured well, and they are still successful in the camera industry today. “Kodak going bankrupt makes me feel like I lost half the memories I had with my family. All of my pictures I have in my house are made from Kodak films, I really hope they re-build their company,” said freshman Hunter Merrick. To most people, Kodak’s bankruptcy is heart- breaking. Kodak is the reason for millions of photos stuffed in family albums and living rooms all across the world. “I’m pretty upset that Kodak has gone bankrupt considering half the pictures in my living room came from Kodak cameras,” said freshman Matt Benitez. “There’s a romanticism that everybody feels with Kodak – it’s like holding a blank canvas,” said Damon Berger, co-founder of the Disrupt/Group production house in Hollywood. Kodak is looking to the future as it plans to be a very successful company again within the next 20 years.