Exactly 10 years after Polaroid went under Kodak is in trouble
What’s with these mega American brands! Is impossible for the great analogue film companies to make it in the digital age? Shares in Rochester, New York-based Eastman Kodak lost more than half their value on Friday and if they cant sort out this current financial crisis the Kodak corporation will follow Polaroid down the slippery road to bankruptcy. Kodak shares plunged as much as 68% to 54 cents before recovering slightly to close down 53.8% at 78 cents on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has now hired law firm, Jones Day known for bankruptcy cases, triggering speculation that the photography market leader could file for bankruptcy before the new year. Kodak, which delivered the first commercially available camera in 1888, denied it had a bankruptcy plan, saying it was committed to meeting its obligations and is still looking for ways to “monetize” its patent portfolio worth a total of 2 billion dollars. Bloomberg reported that potential buyers for its patent portfolio were cautious about going ahead with a bid as they could risk having Kodak creditors sue them after a bankruptcy filing.Kodak has struggled with the move to digital cameras and has failed to be in profit since 2007. Kodak’s value plummeted to roughly $US210 million today, down from a lofty height of $US31 billion in February 1997, as shown by regulatory filings. Kodak’s debt with credit default swaps (CDS) surged as investors priced in greater bankruptcy risk. The company said in its statement: “Kodak is committed to meeting all of its obligations and has no intention of filing for bankruptcy.” Kodak had $957m in cash at the end of June and has said it expects to end the year with $1.6bn-$1.7bn.