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US camera pioneer Kodak files for bankruptcy

The company, which dates back more than a hundred years, was a pioneer in popularising photography. But it has been struggling to keep pace with the digital age and years of poor performance had already forced it to lay off 47,000 employees and close 13 manufacturing plants since 2003

New York: US camera pioneer Eastman Kodak, which brought photography to the masses over a century ago, filed for bankruptcy early today, reports PTI.

“After considering the advantages of Chapter 11 at this time, 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,” CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement, referring to US bankruptcy proceedings.

“Our goal is to maximise value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers,” he added.

The company, which dates back more than a hundred years, was a pioneer in popularising photography.

But it has been struggling to keep pace with the digital age and years of poor performance had already forced it to lay off 47,000 employees and close 13 manufacturing plants since 2003.

“Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetising non-core IP assets,” Mr Perez said.

“We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company.”

In its heyday Kodak shares topped $80 in 1996—just at the outset of the digital photo revolution that eventually replaced the need for consumers to buy Kodak film, once a virtual monopoly in the US market.

The bankruptcy filing places the jobs of Kodak’s 19,000 remaining employees in question. At its height in the 1980s, it had 145,000 workers.

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