Kodak's amended financing deal approved by court
UPDATE: Judge Allan Gropper on Friday approved changes to Kodak's bankruptcy financing. The amendments give the company more flexibility with their financing as they move toward their goal of emergence from bankruptcy by mid-2013.
Reports say Friday's hearing at the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan was quick, and Kodak was allowed to file some of the paperwork confidentially. The result being, many of the terms of the amended agreement are undisclosed.
Kodak declined to comment on the developments when contacted.
Kodak will look for new directors of the Board of Directors as part of its reorganization plan expected to be filed in April.
The company announced Friday that, along with committees of investors, it will jointly hire a firm to begin identifying new directors.
Analyst T.C Lewis says Kodak will come out of bankruptcy a shadow of the company it once was, and the board and management team will have to reflect the needs of that smaller operation.
Lewis says even CEO Antonio Perez’s position may need to be re-thought.
“The big question I guess is Mr. Perez himself, will he stay on?” Lewis says.
“He came to Kodak years ago to manage a much bigger company and who knows whether he will be the right person to lead the new Kodak.”
The existing board also expects to appoint an additional independent director following closing of the financing, anticipated by late March.
The company also announced Friday that it has reached a deal giving Kodak more flexibility in its reorganization and emergence from bankruptcy.
The company has reached an agreement with noteholders to amend the terms of its previously secured interim and exit financing.
The amendments commit Kodak to raising at least $600 million through the sale of non-commercial imaging assets, which include its Document and Personalized Imaging businesses, and trademarks.
Antonio Perez, Kodak’s CEO, said in a statement that the company’s path to emergence from bankruptcy had been made clearer by the deal.
“We are establishing a clear path for our emergence as a stronger, focused Commercial
Imaging company,” Perez said.
“As we move toward finalizing our Plan of Reorganization, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with our lenders that gives Kodak additional financial flexibility in how we reach our ultimate goal of a successful emergence with a sustainable business model.”
Analyst T.C Lewis says he believes the company will emerge from bankruptcy by mid-2013, a goal Kodak has been working towards for over a year.
“I do believe the company now does look more likely to survive and succeed than it did even six months ago,” Lewis says.