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Kodak to End Consumer Inkjet Printer Sales, Cut More Jobs

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Kodak to Stop Selling Consumer Inkjet Printers, Cut More Jobs
Eastman Kodak Co. said earlier this month it’s “making progress” in a restructuring that includes selling its consumer-film, photo-kiosk and commercial-scanner businesses and an extended effort to auction its digital-imaging patents. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Eastman Kodak Co., the bankrupt photography pioneer, plans to cut at least 200 more jobs as it prepares to stop selling consumer inkjet printers next year, part of a plan to turn into a commercial-printing company.

Kodak will continue to sell ink supplies to printer customers, according to a statement today. The job cuts come in addition to 3,700 announced earlier this year, saving the Rochester, New York-based company a total of $340 million annually. Kodak also is seeking to extend its exclusive right to negotiate restructuring during bankruptcy -- a right that’s due for review next month.

Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez has been selling businesses to help fund a turnaround after seeking Chapter 11 protection in January. The company, which aims to exit bankruptcy in the first half of 2013, said earlier this month it’s “making progress” in a restructuring that includes selling its consumer-film, photo-kiosk and commercial-scanner businesses and an extended effort to auction its digital-imaging patents.

There is “significant interest” from potential buyers of the imaging units, Kodak said. Negotiations with patent buyers also continue, along with “development of alternatives in the event a transaction on acceptable terms is not reached,” the company reiterated today.

‘Well Positioned’

Closing and shutting down businesses “will substantially advance the transformation of our business to focus on commercial, packaging and functional printing solutions and enterprise services,” Perez said in the statement. “As we complete the other key objectives of our restructuring in the weeks ahead, we will be well positioned to emerge successfully in 2013.”

Kodak said earlier this month that Chief Operating Officer Philip Faraci and Chief Financial Officer Antoinette McCorvey are leaving. Rebecca Roof, a managing director of the company’s restructuring adviser AlixPartners, will become interim finance chief.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy after years of burning through cash while the rise of digital photography eroded its film business. The company had spent $3.4 billion on restructuring before bankruptcy, including payouts to fire 47,000 employees since 2003, closing 13 factories that produced film, paper and chemicals, and 130 photo laboratories. It will employ about 13,100 after this year’s job cuts are completed.

The bankruptcy case is In re Eastman Kodak Co., 12-10202, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Beth Jinks in New York at bjinks1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net; Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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