Keeping Movie Film Business, Company Plans Emergence from Chapter 11

Without saying anything specific about its motion-picture and television film-making operations, Kodak today announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its "personalized imaging and document imaging" business to its largest creditor, the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP). Kodak says the deal ensures its eventual emergence from bankruptcy.

Kodak will receive some $650 million in cash and other assets in the sale, but the more significant angle is that the deal wipes out $2.8 billion in Kodak's liability to KPP. That, said Kodak officials, is the key making it possible for the remainder of the company to climb out from under its bankruptcy. "The KPP transaction … [provides] the remaining liquidity we require to emerge from Chapter 11," said Kodak Chair and CEO Antonio M. Perez in a prepared statement.

Kodak's personalized imaging business includes retail photo kiosks, photographic paper and workflow systems for labs and photo retailers, still-photography products, and souvenir photo operations for theme parks and other businesses. The document imaging business is primarily document scanners and related professional services.

This deal does seem to be a breakthrough for the company — The New York Times noted that it was just two weeks ago that Kodak said it had agreed to sell the document imaging business to Brother of Japan.

The new Kodak will be focused on commercial imaging, the company says, including packaging, printing and other business-to-business services. For now, the so-called "entertainment imaging and commercial films" operations stay under the Kodak umbrella.