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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.

Report: Kodak may file for bankruptcy

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According to reports, Kodak may file for bankruptcy to protect potential buyers of its multibillion-dollar trove of tech patents.

Eastman Kodak is considering a bankruptcy filing. That’s according to a report from Bloomberg News, citing people familiar with the matter.

Kodak denied the report, issuing a statement late Friday saying the company has “no intention of filing for bankruptcy.”

The release did confirm other reports that Kodak had hired law firm Jones Day for restructuring advice, saying, “It is not unusual for a company in transformation to explore all options and to engage a variety of outside advisers.”

Mark Kaufman is an analyst with Rafferty Capital Markets who follows the struggling photo giant.

He’s says a bankruptcy filing would protect potential buyers as Kodak moves forward with selling off a multibillion-dollar bundle of tech patents.

“The line of logic [for Kodak] is that, well, if we can’t get that money unless we go to the bankruptcy courts, then that’s what we’ll have to do to fund our business,” says Kaufman.

Should Kodak file for bankruptcy now, Kaufman says the patent buyer wouldn’t have to worry about creditors coming after it - if Kodak were to go bankrupt after the deal was made.

Kaufman says news earlier this week that Kodak was tapping its revolving credit line for $160 million “spooked the market” and put the specter of bankruptcy on the table.

He says he talked to the company earlier this morning and heard “no inkling” that bankruptcy was an option.

Kodak shares plunged nearly 60 percent on Friday’s news, closing at $0.78 per share.

WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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