The day's hearing lasted for a little over three hours. The U.S Trustee tried to fight against a bonus for Kodak executives, specifically Antonio Perez's more than $1 million bonus upon emergence. Retirees fought for pension rights and shareholders fought for their interests. In the end, Judge Gropper said shareholders and retirees did not have sufficient evidence and determined that the U.S. Trustee's argument was not persuasive. He said he carefully read the dozens of emotional letters and statements from all those affected who lost everything.
Gropper spoke passionately about Kodak saying "its decline and bankruptcy is a tragedy of American economic life." He went on to say "I find…..debtor contains sufficient evidence that its business plan is feasible and likely to be successful."
Judge Gropper said it will be valuable for Kodak to move on from bankruptcy and move forward as an American business. Emergence is expected to take place as soon as September 3rd. Emerging from bankruptcy means shifting a focus from talking to lawyers to working on hopefully making a profit as a newly defined Kodak.
Kodak says it is pleased with the ruling. It issued a statement saying "next we move on to emergence as a technology leader serving large and growing commercial imaging markets with a leaner structure and a stronger balance sheet."
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