Eastman Kodak, the company which brought photography to the masses a century ago, faces a gloomy future amid new reports that it is on the edge of bankruptcy
Never able to rebuild after the digital wave blew its core film business away from the mass market, the Wall Street Journal reported on late Wednesday that Kodak has already begun preparing to ask for protection from creditors. Last week the New York Stock Exchange told the company, once one of the fabled 30 Dow Jones blue chips, that it faces delisting from the exchange if it cannot get its stock price back above $1.00 level.
In September Kodak hired the law firm Jones Day as advisors for restructuring, though many analysts noted that the firm also advises bankruptcies. Kodak though sought to shore up its finances by selling often some of its huge portfolio of patents, including in digital imaging.
Founded in 1892 by inventor George Eastman, Kodak developed handheld “Brownie” cameras that were sold at popular prices, and furnished the film that would keep consumers pumping profits into the country for decades. Three generations of Americans and many in other countries learned to snap photos with Brownies. And “Kodak Moment”, the company’s advertising catchphrase for its film, was embedded deep into the vernacular.
Ironically, it pioneered research into digital photography beginning in the mid-1970s. But it was Asian electronics manufacturers that stole a march in that market in the 1990s as Kodak failed to see the need to break from its old business lines.
Source: Press Coverage