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Kodak, the 131-year-old photography pioneer, filed for bankruptcy on January 19th 2012.Eastman Kodak announced early this morning that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was “the right thing to do for the future” of the company.In a statement, Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said company leadership decided the move was “a necessary step.”Innovation Trail has followed the story over the course of 2012.

Kodak, a year on from bankruptcy

Kodak Tower_0.jpg

Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy a year ago this week.

The intervening months have seen big layoffs, pay freezes for workers, and an end to benefits for many of the company’s retirees. However, Kodak also secured an extra 830-million in funding, and sold its patent portfolio.

Kodak’s goal is to exit bankruptcy in the first half of this year, and analyst T.C Lewis says he thinks that will happen, but they won’t emerge as the giant they once were.

“It certainly will be a small shell as compared to what it once was. They’ll be a medium sized player, no longer with nearly the significance to the community that they once had. But at least the negative aspects of that change have already been experienced by the economy.”

Lewis says the company still has to clear a few hurdles, like eliminating their liabilities, before they regain their footing as a viable business.

He says Kodak could still have a positive impact on the local and regional economy, like many other mid-sized businesses, if it can make the transition into a successful commercial printing business.

Over the past 12 months, bankruptcy has cost Kodak about $125 million.

Although it seems the worst might be over, Lewis says he still anticipates layoffs of executives, reflecting the downsizing of the once mighty business.

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