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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 creditors uncertain of Chapter 11 future

Kodak's Bankruptcy Filing

Eastman Kodak owes a lot of money to a lot of people.

According to Kodak's bankruptcy filing (see above), the struggling photography pioneer owes tens hundreds of millions to banks and manufacturing firms.

The company also owes tens of millions more to movie studios (Sony, Paramount, Disney), retailers (Walmart, CVS, Staples) and tax collectors (New York State Department of Taxation and Finance).

Kodak also owes $1.7 million to Rochester-based Optimation.

"We're hopeful that we'll see at least a large percentage of the money," Optimation President Bill Pollock* said Thursday morning. "But at this point in time, it's not clear what the court will say and how creditors are going to be paid."

Optimation designs, builds and maintains the machines that make Kodak film, according to Pollock.

He says he's not planning to dwell on Kodak's bankruptcy filing because "there isn't really a lot that we can do right now."

"The percentage of the business that we do with Kodak is going to continue to decline," said Pollock, adding that Kodak will continue to be a client. "We've fully planned for that." 

Pollock himself spent 11 years as an engineer at Kodak.

If all goes well, he says he's in line for a small pension. As a current creditor and a future pensioner, Pollock is hoping he doesn't draw a double whammy as Kodak restructures.

"I should be able to go out to dinner twice a month on that pension if I'm careful with what I buy," Pollock said, jokingly.

*(Full disclosure: Bill Pollock sits on partner station WXXI's board of trustees.)

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