Kodak Prepares to File for Bankruptcy

Eastman Kodak has been trying to stave off bankruptcy for some time, but the floundering photo company now looks bound for Chapter 11. Late last month, Kodak elected a new president—former general counsel Laura Quatela—and inked a deal to sell its Eastman Gelatine subsidiary, moves that were touted as part of the company’s focus on its intellectual property business and “digital growth initiatives,” respectively. But it might be too little, too late. A bankruptcy filing could come as soon as this month or early February if the company is unsuccessful in selling off some of its patent portfolio, according to a report published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. “That Kodak is even contemplating a bankruptcy filing represents a final reversal of fortune for a company that once dominated its industry, drawing engineering talent from around the country to its Rochester, N.Y., headquarters and plowing money into research that produced thousands of breakthroughs in imaging and other technologies,” write Mike Spector and Dana Mattioli, who also note Kodak’s failure to capitalize on the digital camera invented by the company—in 1975. Meanwhile, Moody’s has just downgraded Kodak’s debt due to the bankruptcy buzz.