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Now that their Kodachrome has been taken away, what’s next for Kodak?

Eastman Kodak, the venerable film and camera company that has struggled to find its place in the digital age, has received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to receive financing it secured to pull itself out of bankruptcy. After financing goes through, Kodak could emerge from its Chapter 11 status by mid-2013.

Kodak is authorized to borrow up to $844 million, which strengthens Kodak’s position to help it execute its remaining reorganization objectives, finalize its Plan of Reorganization, and remove itself from Chapter 11.

“Taken together, these accomplishments, along with other recent developments, such as the resolution of certain or our legacy liabilities, demonstrate the tangible and meaningful progress Kodak is making as it moves through the final phase of its restructuring,” the company said, in a statement.

The statement continues: “The Court’s approval of this financing commitment puts Kodak in a strong position to emerge from Chapter 11. This agreement, in conjunction with the recently approved sale and licensing of our digital imaging patent portfolio, lays the financial foundation for our Plan or Reorganization and a successful emergence from Chapter 11 as a profitable and sustainable company,” said Kodak’s Chairman and CEO Antonio M. Perez.

The $844 million includes new money term loans of $455 million, as well as term loans of up to $375 million issued to holders of senior secured notes. New money term loans will be issued in a dollar-for-dollar exchange for amounts outstanding under the company’s pre-petition second lien notes. The financing is predicated on certain conditions, which include the successful completion of the sale of Kodak’s digital imaging patent portfolio for no less than $500 million. A sale of the portfolio for $527 million was recently approved by the Bankruptcy Court, and is expected to close next month.

With their patent portfolio gone, an exit from digital camera manufacturing, and the shedding of other businesses, what’s left for Kodak if it successfully emerges from Chapter 11? One thing is certain: Leveraging their brand power, Kodak recently entered a licensing deal with JK Imaging. (JK Imaging isn’t a familiar name, although Photo Counter did some digging and discovered a few details.)  One product out of this partnership is a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera called the S1, which will be part of the Kodak PixPro digital camera lineup. The camera was announced at a press event in Beijing last week (seen above). Kodak has not revealed specific details about this or any other camera, but reports say the S1 will contain a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor manufactured by Sony.

(Image via PC Online)

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Enid Burns
Enid Burns is a freelance writer who has covered consumer electronics, online advertising, mobile, technology electronic…
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