Washington: Eastman Kodak Co, which invented the hand-held camera and helped bring the world the first pictures from the moon, has filed for bankruptcy protection, capping a prolonged plunge for one of America's best-known companies.
The more than 130-year-old photographic film pioneer, which had tried to restructure to become a seller of consumer products like cameras, said it had also obtained a $950 million, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to keep it going.
The loan and bankruptcy protection from US trade creditors may give Kodak the time it needs to find buyers for some of its 1,100 digital patents, the key to its remaining value, and to reshape its business while continuing to pay its 17,000 workers.
"The board of directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio Perez said in a statement.
"Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core intellectual-property assets. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company," he added.
At end September, the group had total assets of $5.1 billion and liabilities of $6.75 billion.
Kodak said it and its US subsidiaries had filed for Chapter 11 business reorganization in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Non-US subsidiaries were not covered by the filing and would continue to honor all obligations to their suppliers, it added.