updated 05:17 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2012
Reveal comes from bankruptcy court filing, trumpeting progress
Eastman Kodak filed documents today with the overseeing bankruptcy court to extend the deadline for completing its plan for reorganization until February 28, 2013. In the motion, Kodak described the "substantial progress" it has made toward its goals since filing for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2012, but it also announced its intention to depart the consumer inkjet printer business, focusing on supplying ink for the installed base.
Kodak claims progress made in stabilization of its business, the development of its emergence plan, significant operating improvements, the expansion of customer and vendor relationships, and substantial cost reductions. The decision to close down the consumer inkjet division is expected to "significantly improve cash flow in the U.S. beginning in the first half of 2013."
"Kodak is making good progress toward emergence from Chapter 11, taking significant actions to reorganize our core ongoing businesses, reduce costs, sell assets, and streamline our organizational structure," said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Steps such as the sale of Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging, and the Consumer Inkjet decision, will substantially advance the transformation of our business to focus on commercial, packaging & functional printing solutions and enterprise services. As we complete the other key objectives of our restructuring in the weeks ahead, we will be well positioned to emerge successfully in 2013."
Despite Kodak's rosy filing, the patent auction faltered, and the company was unable to reach a deal with a group of prospective buyers. Kodak said it would no longer continue brief extensions of the final sale hearing date but would instead continue the patent sale discussions outside the auction, and the court would be notified if a deal is reached. Kodak did warn the judge that it "may not reach acceptable terms with parties via the auction process."
A motion to discuss today's filing, as well as issues raised by the failed patent auction, is scheduled for October 17.