Last year came the not so surprising news that famed photography equipment producer Eastman Kodak was filing for bankruptcy. Times have changed, and the need for physical film is not there anymore. Kodak simply became a relic of an older generation — but that didn’t mean the company’s debts would just go away, nor did it mean that Kodak couldn’t generate some revenue.
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2012 and a recent report indicates the company is close to completing its bankruptcy obligations. Kodak has been busy since filing for bankruptcy, selling off two major portions of the company (both the digital camera side and the inkjet printer side of the company) to the United Kingdom pension plan. If approved, Kodak would then go through the conclusion phase of their Chapter 11 filing, as the court and Kodak’s creditors approve the entire plan.
There are two important things to take away from this, and the first is that just because a business goes into bankruptcy, it does not mean the company is dead. Kodak has made some significant revisions to its structure, and it appears they intend to keep operating after the bankruptcy. Businesses that seek bankruptcy protection are able to change their company (in many cases for the better).
The other aspect here is that a Chapter 11 filing gives a business some time and breathing room. Having creditors constantly harass the company makes it difficult for the leadership to reach the appropriate decision. Filing for bankruptcy slows things down. It temporarily stops the creditors; allows the company to make some financial decisions to address their debt; and, ultimately, it can be used as a way to sell parts (or all) of the company.
Source: USA Today, “Hearings put Kodak on cusp of ending its bankruptcy,” Matthew Daneman, June 20, 2013